Renewables industry fury at new Wind commissioner appointment

wind-turbine[1]

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

The Australian Renewables industry has reacted with fury to a leaked suggestion that a new “wind commissioner” will be appointed, to handle complaints about turbine noise.

According to The Guardian;

The Abbott government’s proposed “wind commissioner” represents a “new low in its relentless anti-renewables campaign”, the wind industry says, suggesting the Coalition might do better to appoint a “coal commissioner”.

Guardian Australia revealed on Thursday the Abbott government has agreed to appoint a “windfarm commissioner” to handle complaints about turbine noise, and a new scientific committee to investigate, again, their alleged impacts on human health, in a deal with anti-wind senators to win amendments to renewable energy legislation.

“This is a blatant attempt by the Abbott government to use taxpayer cash to appoint a propaganda agent for the anti-wind brigade,” said Andrew Bray, coordinator of the Australian Wind Alliance.

Read more: http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/jun/18/abbott-governments-windfarm-commissioner-pledge-a-new-low

My personal impression is the wind industry might be frightened of the possibility of close scrutiny. Up until now, in my opinion, they have had a free ride – their status as a “green” industry has to some extent allowed them to shrug off worrying reports of adverse health effects from the infrasonic industrial noise pollution produced by wind turbines, and an embarrassing rain of bird carcasses and bats killed by blade strikes.

It looks like, in Australia at least, that free ride is about to come to an end. If there is nothing to reports of adverse health effects and slaughtered birds and bats, the wind industry surely have nothing to fear from a little scrutiny. But if there is any truth to these accusations, it would be better for the wind industry to come clean, to admit the problems and welcome scrutiny, otherwise they may in the future face accusations of having used tobacco industry style dirty tricks, to conceal significant health and environmental problems associated with wind turbines.

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206 thoughts on “Renewables industry fury at new Wind commissioner appointment

  1. The Australian government is going to need help and allies soon. It can’t brave this thing without outside support. They have all the world leaning on them.

    • Abbott is his own man, Australia is our country. Rather the wavering countries can learn and follow the leader.

      • Australia is the nation that began on the dawn of the Enlightenment and we’re still leading the pack. Hopefully the rest will catch up with the wisdom of us mob, the spawn of unruly iconoclastic ex-convicts.

    • “They have all the world leaning on them.”
      Not really, just what a small group of eco-zealots would have you believe. If you look at neighbouring countries such as the Philippines, Indonesia and China, they all rely on coal and oil-fired power, renewaburbles are nowhere to be seen. All the smaller islands rely on diesel generators.
      Australia has 1 billion near neighbours who will continue to use fossil fuels for power, whatever Australia does with wind turbines is TOTALLY insignificant.

      • I know of no other country who is quite so advanced in this area of ‘renewals reformation’ as is Australia. Certainly Greece is not.

  2. Wish the hell we could get Abbott on a transfer to the UK and sort our climate clowns out

      • just to amplify Marlenes link, the article concerns the likely cessation of the UK Renewables Obligation (subsidy) for onshore wind from April 2016 which has upset the Scottish Nationalists.
        Wind and solar have had a free ride in the UK for many years and it is high time they earned their keep.
        At present they are over subsidised, highly expensive and due to the lack of a storage system-supply power in an unreliable fashion. Their potential unsightliness and noise will hopefully also be addressed in a more robust and sceptical fashion than has happened in the past. However, when it matures the renewables industry-especially wind and solar- will undoubtedly have a valuable part to play in supplying green energy.
        It is the lack of the ability to store the power they generate that is their Achilles heel and it is to be hoped this will be addressed urgently, perhaps by way of a focused international research programme.
        tonyb

      • TonyB, storage is technically possible now. Pumped hydro. Even where there are no hills/mountains, it is possible to excavate an underground cavern for the lower reservoir.
        The problem is cost. Adding conventional pumped hydro storage more than doubles the cost of wind. Adding underground lower reservoir pumped hydro would roughly quintuple it. When wind is not economic without subsidies in the first place. The onshore wind LCOE is about 2-2.2x natural gas fired CCGT in the US.

      • “…Wind and solar have had a free ride in the UK for many years and it is high time they earned their keep.
        At present they are over subsidised, highly expensive and due to the lack of a storage system-supply power in an unreliable fashion. Their potential unsightliness and noise will hopefully also be addressed in a more robust and sceptical fashion than has happened in the past. However, when it matures the renewables industry-especially wind and solar- will undoubtedly have a valuable part to play in supplying green energy.
        It is the lack of the ability to store the power they generate that is their Achilles heel…”

        Regrettably, wind has multiple ‘Achilles heels’.
        – Health threats to near residents, subsonic and pressure wave disturbances to living tissue.
        – Deadly threats to flying critters; and may be implicated in sudden population declines.
        – Short equipment lifespan versus long payback periods exacerbated by high maintenance costs.
        – Intermittent highly unpredictable power generation levels.
        – Disruptive impacts to power grids requiring intensive backup designs.
        Lack of ability to store excess generated power is way down the list of issues with wind, solar and tidal power generation plans.
        Wind power’s lack of power storage getting trotted out as a weakness is diversionary. There are far greater issues with wind power; the greatest and least mentioned wind power failure is the complete failure requiring that technology is proven, independently self supportable and fully responsible for all human and environmental impacts.
        Instead our leaders love to throw money at phantasmal solutions to very real problems.
        Subsidies and grants for implementation of any technology should be considered temporary loans for infrastructure that will result in immense long term citizen paybacks and benefits.

      • @Climatereason
        I have a brilliant idea. Why dont the SNP table for a ‘Scottish Wind-Farm tax’ and let the Scottish people pay the Generation companies instead of all UK citizens?

      • Rud
        I should have used the words ‘ practical and cost effective’ means of storing energy from renewable sources.
        The methods you describe seem anything but. 🙂
        Tonyb

      • So long as your plan is to replace him with nobody and to dismantle the entire federal bureaucratic system then I’m with you. But if you’re just going to replace him with some other politician then I don’t see the point.

      • Well, you lot have mellowed through the years; the wish used to be to ship such a character part way back to England.

      • The grammar is appalling; you do not put yourself first, you put others first and yourself last. Perhaps we could start with shipping the also appalling Ms There Will Never be a Carbon Tax Liar Gillard back to Wales. Then Gillian Triggs.

      • However, despite your wish, I and man other Australians don’t want anyone else as Prime Minister and think he is doing a good job. That’s the problem with a democracy, not everyone agrees in lockstep with you.

      • Yes , your lot filled pages of newspapers and hours of internet time because he looked at his watch. Shows how feeble you are.

      • ‘I and many other Australians also wish we could ship Tony Abbott back to England, for good!’
        Good job your’e in a minority then,isn’t it?
        The majority of people want the the economy brought under control,no more billions,yes billions,wasted on illeagal immigrants,an end to union thuggery and a stop to green nutcases who were running the country under the previous Labor clowns.Oh yeah,and a stop to the windmill con job.

  3. Someone is finally appointed to handle the problems experienced by the victims of their bloody scam, and they have the audacity to complain?? The windweasels should be in prison for their negligence, concerning residents near the wind turbines, and they know it!

  4. said Andrew Bray, coordinator of the Australian Wind Alliance. the paid propaganda agent much of whose pay comes from tax payer funded subsides

  5. The Australian Renewables industry has reacted with fury to a leaked suggestion that a new “wind commissioner” will be appointed to handle complaints about turbine noise.

    The left are always furious when someone tries to get between them and your money.

  6. Too bad they can’t call him a Czar, in keeping with the total affront to individual sensibilities that is the new postmodern fashion. Just to rub their noses in same stuff they rub our lowly commoner noses in.

  7. Why would the renewables industry prefer a government that did not investigate the concerns of the voters who put them in office? The question is not rhetorical and needs to be answered by the renewables industry.

    • Your too kind, the way I read,

      The Abbott government’s proposed “wind commissioner” represents a “new low in its relentless anti-renewables campaign”, the wind industry says, suggesting the Coalition might do better to appoint a “coal commissioner”. … to handle complaints about turbine noise, and a new scientific committee to investigate, again, their alleged impacts on human health, in a deal with anti-wind senators to win amendments to renewable energy legislation.

      is they consider the revealing of the truth to be an attack.

  8. The greens sure love to regulate everyone and everything, but when it comes to them being regulated it doesn’t go over so well. Hypocrites.

  9. Why fear a wind commissioner? If you honestly think there’s nothing to worry about, why fear?
    Sure, let’s have coal and gas and nuclear commissioners too.
    Let’s check this out.

    • Every dog and his/her owner are the commissioners for the oil/gas industry – including Hollywood, that den of high school drops outs.

  10. Dear BLACK PEARL June 19, 2015 at 1:09 pm
    You say ”Wish the hell we could get Abbott on a transfer to the UK and sort our climate clowns out” . I have to ask you this sir or madam, Transfer to the UK? what has Mr Abbott ever done to you to wish that upon him?

  11. Tear every one of them down, everyplace on the planet. Build new coal plants and Nuke plants. Let’s get back to reality.

    • Are you crazy?
      Renewables are the only chance we earhians have got and we’re running out of time and tipping points at an alarming rate.We can’t use nuclear power because …erm..anyway so what if it will take a wind farm 3 times the size of Italy just to keep up with the growth in demand for power.Phil Nye the science guy has warned us plenty,and he wears a dickie bow!

  12. Those who have something to hide, always object to any kind of scrutiny.
    This is especially true for those who have their snouts so obviously in the trough.

  13. This is a blatant attempt by the Abbott government to use taxpayer cash to appoint a propaganda agent for the anti-wind brigade,” said Andrew Bray, coordinator of the Australian Wind Alliance.
    Anyone else see the rich irony in that? A proponent of wind energy, which lives off diverted tax-payer money, decrying diversion of tax-payer money. It’s like a thief decrying a burglar.
    Let’s make a relevant paraphrase: There are none so blind as they whose eyes are stopped with free money.

    • Oh, the irony is as thick as it can be.
      It tells all subsidies dependent wind people are scared because they do cause trouble and the commissioner will have work to do.

    • It would appear some of the wind industry have not yet fully read the recommendations of the Senate Select Committee on Wind Turbines, which is driving this proposal.
      The committee has recommended their other recommendations be funded by a levy on wind farm operators. No taxpayer cash involved.

    • The Abbott government abolished the Climate Commission(Tim Flannery and various other muppetts) saving the taxpayer $1.6m per year with the very sage comment ‘I don’t see why we should be paying for something which we are going to be getting for free anyway’ Looks like he is putting some of that money to good use.

  14. I cannot stand Tony Abbott or many of his Ministers. Just a vile bunch of hate encouraging extremists. This government has also done nothing to stop the global warming gravy train nor said anything to cast doubt on the assertions of future catastrophe. They repealed the Carbon Tax only to raise the fuel tax.

    • Goodness wickedwnchfan,
      So tell me what did the opposition Labour do while they were in government. ? Yes they introduced a carbon tax they (she the PM at the time) said they never would. A bunch of warmaholics who encouraged the gravy train and maintained global warming will be catastrophic. They love the ‘Unreliables’ industry. They were also willing to send billions to the UN. Who exactly are the extremists I ask? I think you have hold of the wrong end of the stick my friend.

      • You could add the plethora of supposedly highly educated labor ministers who continually ranted on and on about carbon pollution. That, alone was enough to lose my respect for these people.

  15. THE REAL RENEWABLE POWER;
    Bolivian Vice-President: Let Us Dare to Leave The Cave & Use The Sacred Fire of Nuclear Power
    August 22, 2014 • 4:40PM
    “Let us break the mental and colonial chains; break them! Let us dare to leave the cave, as our ancestors did 20,000 years ago. Let us dare to assume our responsibility before the world, before our history and our society. Knowledge of nuclear energy is knowledge of the ABC’s of nature….
    “[Bolivia has] the technical, scientific and moral obligation to take responsibility for the knowledge, use, understanding and beneficial development of this fundamental force of Nature.
    “It doesn’t matter how long it takes us. We are going to do it, because we are convinced that that is how we cement the conditions for the technological development of Bolivians for the next 400 to 500 years.”

  16. Speaking of new lows in campaigns….. oh where do I start?
    How about the word “Deniers”?
    [Deniers of what? .mod]

  17. Glad to see some good news for the unhypnotized, Eric.
    My poem on renewable reality:
    If you like your energy sustainable,
    You must first make the climate trainable.
    With sun day and night,
    And the wind always right-
    I think it just might be attainable!
    Solar and wind are renewable,
    But have proven to just not be doable!
    They’re killing the birds
    And displacing the herds
    (But the public is highly snafu-able).
    It appears to employ better vision
    To subsidize nuclear fission.
    (The Thorium kind,
    For our peace of mind)
    And global electric transmission.
    Transportation and power, to the poor
    Truly are keys to open the door-
    To an affluent life,
    A job and a wife
    With less offspring (than folks made before).
    So, curtailing overpopulation
    Is not about “limiting nations
    On what they can do
    Which emits CO2”…
    It depends on industrialization!

  18. I have to say there are other countries starting to cautiously reconsider the CAGW response.
    Even if you felt a responsibility as a politician to cover a possible risk from CO2 emissions, and there is room for the CO2 emissions to be an issue, no sane person would any longer see wind farms as a solution to that potential issue.
    New project optimism could be an excuse for early subsidies but once the realities are in you have a moral duty to say stop.
    I think I saw a number of something like a very significant portion of a trillion dollars has been pushed at the issue via wind farms, the jury is in and scale has not fixed the cost hurdle nor has it improved the CO2 emission issue should it be an issue.
    there is much talk internationally about the poor in rich countries, low productivity growth, and the lack of traction in solving these issues. could it be the diversion of massive quantities of investment capital into projects that increase the cost of energy to the all but affecting the poor more significantly.
    Putin and the Chinese and others must consider their investments in antifracing and talk about supporting the CAGW initiatives as money well spent.

  19. No one’s yet mentioned, or I missed the mention, another problem, power density. Another is that infrasound doesn’t just damage humans, but the whole biosphere, animals and plants, and it may be easy to show that.
    Then yet another: A windfarm permanently changes the weather, even climate downstream. We are all down stream. We are all damaged. The wind, the water, and the sun are the planet’s natural climate regulating mechanisms, and if we ever draw significant energy from them, it will be net detrimental.
    Wind brings dust off the Boedele Depression in Africa, and fertilizes the Amazon Basin with it. Were there wind farms in the gap to the east of the depression, the Amazon Rain Forest would die a slow agonizing death.
    I exaggerate, but not much.
    ===============

  20. Wind power is an abomination that destabilizes the electrical grid and drives up energy costs through huge operating subsidies that are passed on to consumers through their bloated electrical bills.
    I suggest that in each region where wind power had been implemented, a coalition of taxpayers groups and organizations representing families, the elderly and the poor should launch vigorous campaigns to end ALL operating subsidies to wind (and solar) power schemes.
    We need a catchy name: I suggest our movement should be called BREAKING WIND.
    Well what are you all waiting for?
    Let’s get out there and …

    • There are ,and have been, orginisations out there, “save our sound” in mass . helped to stop “cape wind”. New hampshire wind watch is fighting wind projects on NH mountain ranges, These are non profits. Check your area and put your money where your is.

  21. A quick trip along highway 10 about 2 hours out of LA and you can see what happens when the subsidies stop and wind power needs maintenance.
    i wonder if these wind energy folk have reinstatement funds set aside.
    in my mind this is where the attack should come from, make them set aside funds to reinstate the environment. After all they are environmentally conscious folk.

    • “set aside funds”? They get huge subsidies just to build up that crap. Where do you think the money for the funds would come from?

    • Nobody in thier right minds reads,watches or has anything to do with propaganda from the fat cat ABC.The Aussie version is 10 times worse than the BBC and is so far left it’s beautiful.

      • JB
        Whilst I am sure you’re right (I haven’t watched ABC even as a tourist for a decade and more) – ’10 times worse than the BBC’ certainly puts them well into the deep bogs and sloughs of Fat-boy Kim territory . . .
        Pyeong-Yang here we Sydney-siders all come, I guess.
        At least here, with the Blatantly Biased Creeps, it’s just (‘merely’) the Lysenkoist urges’n’purges of the Do-As-I-Say, Stalin made the executions run on time, Metro-babble of useful idiots.
        18 years with no upward trend [in the real world, that is] – and the sky is still falling!
        Or will do if my buddies don’t get their funding . . . . . . .
        Sixth Great Extinction – probably right, but CACC has nothing to do with it, no more than London being shoulder deep in Unicorn poo.
        Neither exists.
        Well, we could look again at Unicorn poo, even if that is rarer than rocking-horse shit . . . .
        Auto

  22. OK, fair is fair.
    There should not be a “Wind Commissioner”
    There should be a “Noise Commissioner” with special portfolio for “Man-made Turbulence”.
    If it is wind turbine noise, gas turbine compressor noise, or Highway-Railway Noilse — its noise that affects health and wellbeing. Some noise can be mitigated. Some noise can’t and should attract the attention of the Noise Commissar Commissioner.
    What’s the noise before the windfarm?
    What’s the noise after the windfarm?
    If the Windfarm is within half a mile of an interstate highway, there is probably no harm, no foul.
    But if a windfarm is built in a rural area and the noise affects nearby residents, there ought to be some measure of compensation.
    If a wind turbine is erected in a forest and someone IS there the hear it, then it DOES make a sound. Pay up.

  23. As with most things in the media, the Guardian’s report is at best incomplete, and the result may be even less to the liking of the wind industry.
    The proposed changes are actually being driven by the Senate Select Committee on Wind Turbines, which has been hearing appalling reports of the impact of wind farms on people in Australia, including some who are hosts for wind turbines. The Committee has produced an interim report with a series of strong recommendations
    It is available at
    http://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Committees/Senate/Wind_Turbines/Wind_Turbines/~/media/Committees/wind_ctte/Interim_Report/report.pdf
    In summary, it has recommended:
    * the Commonwealth create national wind farm guidelines (see more details below), to be finalised within 12 months, to be incorporated by state governments
    * including a national standard on infrasound and low frequency noise and its measurement,
    * with the latter based on research findings to be developed by an Independent Expert Scientific Committee (IESC) on Industrial Sound, which will also provide advice about the sound impact of prospective and existing wind farms
    * requiring transparency of data about the operation and noise emission from individual wind farms
    * plus the establishment by the Commonwealth of a National Wind Farm Ombudsman as a single point of complaint for people suffering from wind farms
    * with eligibility of wind farms to received RECs to depend on compliance with the national guidelines and particularly the noise measures
    * and this to be paid for by a levy on wind farms (as a condition for being eligible to issue RECs)
    The stick that drives all this is the dependence of wind farms on being able to issue, and get paid for, Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs). Without RECs they are not financially viable. RECs are authorised under Commonwealth legislation and the Senate Committee has recommended that legislation be amended to enforce the other recommendations.
    The Committee has recommended that the national wind farm guidelines must set minimum standards (which all jurisdictions must observe) on the following issues:
    * ongoing wind farm operator compliance with planning conditions and requirements for holding records;
    * requirements that wind farm operators publicly disclose certain operating data;
    * buffer distances between turbines and residences;
    * specific requirements for community and stakeholder consultation at each stage of planning, development and operation;
    * visual and landscape impacts;
    * the impact on birds and bats;
    * indigenous heritage issues;
    * aircraft safety; and
    * the property rights of neighbours.
    The committee has a strong representation of cross-bench (not government, Labor or Greens) Senators and they appear to be driving the recommendations made. The Government is after cross-bench support for aspects of the RET revisions it wants to enact, so the cross-benchers are in a good position to get adoption of the Committee’s recommendations, to which Abbott is probably not averse in any case.

  24. ABC radio national today -Science show- should be podcastable now
    all about the wonderful birdshredders
    with NOT a word about bird kills etc at all
    one peeved farmer got a short airing.
    admissions of 30% of possible max actually produced.
    hilarious
    I am waiting for the first endangered migratory Orange bellied Parrot to be found in bits under the Vic coastal blades.
    that oughta send the greentards into a fit.

  25. Not a fan of wind turbines mainly for their variability, but as far as health effects of infrasound from them, I’ll believe in their claims the moment you can produce anyone getting paid rent for them on their land that suffers from infrasound.
    Now for the the good news for wind fans as Australia reaches peak wind power generation at 3200MW explained here-
    http://www.wattclarity.com.au/2015/05/aggregate-wind-farm-output-tops-3200mw-in-the-middle-of-the-night/
    Wow, closing down the coal industry is nearly at hand Green folks until you look more closely at the output of only around 1300MW just over one and a half days earlier in that second graph and those negative prices impacting fossil fuel returns which have to cover that 1900MW of variation-
    http://www.wattclarity.com.au/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/20150510at1400nemwatchscreenshot.jpg
    but that aint the be all and end all Green wet dreamers-
    http://www.wattclarity.com.au/2015/03/approaching-62-hours-becalmed-on-the-mainland-what-would-this-mean-for-battery-storage/
    Facts! We don’t need no lousy facts from skeptics in the pay of big fossil.

  26. One State Government has successfully got rid of it’s car manufacturing industry, two coal power stations, support industry and built the biggest proportion of wind gene3ration in the country. Unemployment has sky rocketed. The young are starting to leave and move interstate for work. Unemployment is at record levels. Green policies are working well. South Australia is the second state to go really green and go bankrupt at the same time.
    Do not look at Australia as being a wonderful haven. There is a real crisis developing in Australia from green policies

  27. Australias experience with wind farms is no doubt around the same as every where around the world.
    Unreliable, intermittant and with huge subsidises totally worthless for a modern economy. Then there is the down sides.

  28. People,let’s get this straight,wind farms are purely and simply a con job.No more no less.

  29. Two technicians got caught on top of one of those giant windmills after it started on fire.
    There are pictures on the Internet of them embracing on top as they knew they were not going to make it. One jumped. The other tried to go back through the housing which was on fire but didn’t make it.

    • My thoughts are with their families, friends and colleagues.
      Two horrible ways to go.
      Whilst probably pretty rare as a technician-killing event, are there moves to it evacuation devices – at sea, we have ‘lifeboats’ and ‘life-rafts’.
      Could the bird choppers be fitted with external life-lines, which could be clipped on to and allow a controllable rate of descent – after the first fifty metres – so getting the techie out of the trouble zone quickly. Would need capital and maintenance, and probably training.
      Sort of zip-wires?
      Or parachutes?
      Or a helter-skelter on the outside . . . .
      Or are the techies’ lives of no worth compared to saving the planet [except when we need fossil-fuel [or pumped hydro] back-up]?
      Might I be feeling just the tiniest atto-smidgen cynical?
      Auto

      • Or Nuke back-up [NB – bird shredders are m u c h better at base load than Nukes. I am told].
        Auto – pointing out to mods that this really, t r u l y , doesn’t need a /sarc tag for anyone one nano-smidgen brighter than a medium sized cactus.

      • Parachutes are quite heavy items to wear, and the ripcord type would be a bit marginal in terms of time to deploy and decelerate the wearer, from that height, A static line type would open quicker, but would require the line fixing somewhere before jumping.. Probably a simple abseil system would be adequate in light winds, provided the top line section near the burning nacelle was fireproof.

  30. The Capacity Factor of wind power is typically a bit over 20%, but that is NOT the relevant factor.
    The real truth is told by the Substitution Factor, which is as low as 4% in Germany – that is the amount of conventional generation that can be permanently retired when wind power is installed it the grid.
    http://www.wind-watch.org/documents/wp-content/uploads/eonwindreport2005.pdf
    (apparently no longer available from E.ON Netz website).
    Re E.ON Netz Wind Report 2005 – see especially:
    Figure 6 says Wind Power does not work (need for ~100% spinning backup);
    and Figure 7 says it just gets worse and worse the more Wind Power you add to the grid (see Substitution Factor).
    Same story for grid-connected Solar Power (both in the absence of a “Super-Battery”).
    This was all obvious to us – we published similar conclusions in 2002.
    Two trillion wasted dollars later, the rest of the world is waking up.
    Wind power – it doesn’t just blow – it sucks!

    • Sorry, but I have to disagree with your comment on grid-connected solar power. This is my opinion, but supported by a recent conversation with a Southern Cal Edison lineman. His territory includes both wind farms and multi-megawatt solar plants. If you look at a utility power load curve, in the summer here in the southwest US, peak power is about 2X the base load. Solar power is generated when the load is greatest, so it is a substitute for the peaker plants that run at higher cost than base load plants. Until you reach ~30% of the grid load, PV does load leveling. Now I didn’t say anything about cost or subsidies…….

      • Do you know how much the subsidy is for solar power in your area? I do not.
        But in other locations is it 12 times the price of conventional power.

      • In my location, wind power is subsidized at 4 times (20 cents per KWh) the price of conventional power (which costs 5 cents per KWh all-in) , and that wind subsidy is paid 24/7, even when the wind power is not needed and must be shed from the grid.
        If any of the claims that wind or solar power are truly competitive with conventional power generation are true, then end the subsidies to wind and solar today. I predict they will go broke tomorrow.

      • Alan… Solar heating has been truly competitive with conventional heating ever since they began installing glass windows on the south side of buildings in cold climates.

  31. New onshore wind is cost-competitive with new advanced cycle gas
    Wind power’s LCOE (leveiized cost of electricity) for new build is comparable to that for the most efficient gas generation according to the most recent USA EIA figures:
    Average onshore wind 73.6 vs 72.6 advanced combined cycle gas ($/MWh)
    See http://www.eia.gov/forecasts/aeo/electricity_generation.cfm
    This is an average. The EIA gives the ranges as follows :-
    65.6 – 81.6 $/MWh Wind
    68.6 – 81.7 $/MWh Advanced Gas Combined Cycle
    So according to the EIA the best power from wind can beat the best power from gas.
    Further, the variable cost element of this gas generation is 53.6 $/MWh of which most is fuel. If you looks at the most recent Lazard’s figures (version 8), this is more than the cheapest unsubsized wind power (range 37 – 82 $/MWh). The lowest costs will be in the US interior states. See Lazards V8 – http://www.lazard.com/PDF/Levelized%20Cost%20of%20Energy%20-%20Version%208.0.pdf.
    If you are an interior US state using 100% advanced CC gas generation, you would expect to provide cheaper power and make more profit by installing onshore wind turbines as well, because the LCOE for the wind would be lower than the EIA-provided variable costs, mostly fuel costs. When the wind blows you make money by saving on fuel costs. When there is no wind you run the gas generation at the old cost. You would expect to use wind power around 40% of the time (rising to 60% with the next-but-one generation of wind turbines), and gas generation the rest of the time.
    These conclusions are based on 2020 pricing which is what you would be looking at if you are starting to plan new generation right now.
    ristvan said :

    The onshore wind LCOE is about 2-2.2x natural gas fired CCGT in the US.

    You would only be able to get figures like this by using old wind generation technology and prices, and maybe by comparing with a period when the gas prices were so low that no gas producer could make a profit, which is why they went up afterwards. LCOE would include full capital costs, so should always be comparing new with new.
    Rud’s statement is cherry picking figures to misrepresent the true position, rather than providing current information to help us understand what decision should be taken when planning new generation.
    In summary, new wind generation is highly competitive with gas generation if you use the most recent figures.

    • “In summary, new wind generation is highly competitive with gas generation if you use the most recent figures.”
      Is that right?
      So why do the Wind gang scream like stuck pigs about driving out investment and all sorts of other horrors if they are prevented from mugging the energy users for subsidies?
      You’re still totally ignoring the inconvenient fact that every milliwatt of unreliable, unpredictable wind power has to be supported by the same amount of conventional thermal generation for the half to three quarters of the time it is not generating, with the concomitant extra wear and tear on the thermal plant, leading to the inescapable conclusion that the nasty bird and bat mincers are nothing but a complete waste of time and money, and cannot by any stretch of imagination be described as environmentally sound.

      • Climate Pete: “if you care about birds and bats you are not answering the right question.”
        Ah, but unlike wind, all those others are reliable 24/7 sources of dispatchable electricity, so the deaths due to wind turbines are entirely unnecessary.
        In any case, you’re wriggling, as the mortality rate was not my primary point – which I notice you entirely failed to address.
        Further, you didn’t supply any mortality figures for hydro, such as the Banqiao dam, for example:
        The dam failures killed an estimated 171,000 people; 11 million people lost their homes. It also caused the sudden loss of 18 GW of power, the power output equivalent of roughly 9 very large modern coal-fired thermal power stations.
        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Banqiao_Dam
        Here’s another:
        The devastating earthquake in Sichuan, which took at least 69,000 lives in May 2008, may have been unleashed by the huge Zipingpu Dam. New scientific evidence suggests that the filling of the Zipingpu reservoir may have activated a dormant fault line near the dam site. This is all the more worrisome because the Chinese government plans to shift the center of its dam-building efforts into seismically active regions.
        http://www.internationalrivers.org/blogs/227/china-earthquake-a-dam-induced-disaster

      • In my link – http://www.eia.gov/forecasts/aeo/electricity_generation.cfm – there is a note on subsidies. The note indicates that the subsidies only apply to those items with figures in the three subsidy columns. So wind prices in table 1 and table 2 appear to be unsubsidized prices.
        The EIA link you provide seems to be at odds with my link as far as whether subsidies are included or not. Since the EIA appears to be at odds with itself, maybe we should go with Lazards.
        On the other link, existing plants are always cheaper than new ones. However, the point about the fuel costs does not depend on when the plant was installed. Older plants tend to be less efficient and therefore fuel costs for older plants tend to be higher.

    • If your cost comparison is correct, I must ask the question — Why is wind highly subsidized in Texas and nearly 100% of the Western world? In Texas I pay for it every month on my electricity bill over and above my usage and taxes?
      If wind is intermittent (lack of wind, too cold) and requires back up power from inefficiently spinning natural gas plants, how is the cost of this back up power considered in you calculations of wind costs?
      West Texas wind does not blow in what time of year? Summer! The exact time when demand is highest! Conventional power plants are the only way to meet demand not being produced by wind. The last time I drove through west Texas was in late October. Less than 50% of the windmills were even turning.
      Sorry, but I am not buying your assertion that wind is competitive with a natural gas plant when ALL costs are considered.

      • Subsidies and costs
        In the past wind has been heavily subsidized. This was to get up to critical manufacturing mass for a new (and therefore expensive) technology. As the technology matures, efficiency improves and costs come down then the subsidies for new renewables generation builds should be corresponding reduced.
        In other words the subsidies for new wind in Texas should be set to be less than for old wind, and the money you are paying is
        The problem has been that there hasn’t always been a path of slowly reducing subsidies for wind. It has been single level stop go.
        So, a question for you. Do you have a breakdown anywhere as to what proportion of the wind subsidy on your bill relates to which year, because that ought to demonstrate the reducing price of wind power over time. The subsidies for installations in a given year would be compared with the new wind power installed that year.
        If wind is cheaper the fossil fuel running costs (as it is in the USA interior and will be elsewhere soon), then the baseline cost is always fossil fuel generation, and wind represents a cost saving on this. The wind power prices are calculated based on the time the wind blows and the turbines are generating, not on 100% of the time.
        Texas wind match with air conditioning load
        You are absolutely correct that wind is not a good match for Texas summer peak air conditioning load. Solar PV is a better match for this. As soon as solar LCOE (with federal but not state subsidy) is less than fossil fuel generation costs it makes sense to grow this rapidly.
        That leaves the summer evening period when the sun is on the horizon or down and PV generation is low.
        The wind speed in Texas is highest in northern Texas, so wind generation costs are lowest there. However, there isn’t a good match with evening air conditioning load.
        Texas has the possibility of using onshore or offshore wind generation on the coast of the Gulf of Mexico. My understanding is that this has offshore breezes after the sun has risen, and onshore breezes after the sun goes down, caused by increased heating of the land by day compared with the sea. The wind speeds on the Gulf of Mexico are not as high as in the north, so the turbines are likely to be higher and with bigger rotors, but to have smaller generators than you would otherwise expect from the physical dimensions. This is likely to provide a good match to summer evening peak air conditioning load.
        And yes, in times when the wind is not blowing or sun shining, fossil fuel generation is a sensible method of generation.

  32. How can you reconcile the different views on wind and solar costs?
    How is it possible to reconcile the two conflicting views that wind power is currently the cheapest source of mass power generation, and that it is expensive because it is intermittent? Surely the two are diametrically opposed.
    One way to look at it is to assume you start with a pure fossil fuelled generating system, maybe a mixture of gas and coal-fired. So we already have the base generation in place at a defined cost. Then see if adding wind now and solar later can improve on it.
    The best wind is cheaper to install for generation 40% of the time than the pure cost of fuel (and the other smaller costs which make up the total variable cost) for the most efficient gas-fired generation plant. See the post above.
    This best US wind is located in the US interior states where the land is flat and there are no obstacles. The power output of a wind turbine depends on the cube of the wind speed, so a mere 30% faster wind gives you 120% higher power availability – probably rather more than you were expecting.
    In the US interior, if you install a wind capacity up to the gas-generating station capacity (but not much further at this point), then the cost of the wind turbines will be more than covered by the fuel savings.
    Solar PV (photovoltaic) is currently a little more expensive than gas and wind generation on average. However, panel prices have dropped 78% in the last 5 years.
    Can this huge decline in solar prices continue into the near future?
    The estimates are that, for each doubling of solar panels manufactured, the costs decrease by 16%. For four doublings (a factor of 16X in terms of increased manufacturing volume), you would expect a further 50% price drop. That is enough to make solar prices cheaper than wind fuel costs, and probably cheaper than coal generation fuel costs. It does not assume any major technological innovation – purely scale manufacturing.
    It is highly likely that solar volumes will keep increasing as required to get to a 16X increase in manufacturing. Modi has stated that India will install 100GW of solar power by 2022, up from 3GW currently. Other nations are expected to increase solar installations too.
    So, yes, it looks like the decline in solar prices will continue.
    As a rule of thumb, in the best places solar capacity factors will be at 30%, average 20% and in the worst places 10%.
    In the 2030 timeframe wind will also reduce in cost, and it is highly likely that it will go below the fuel costs of coal generation.
    Go back to the fossil fuel grid. Install the total generation capacity again in both wind and solar (i.e. a total of three times the current capacity). Total costs will be lower because the fuel savings more than pay for the wind and solar generation capital costs.
    In the best place you will have a grid that is powered something like 60% by renewables (40% wind + 30% solar only equals something like 60%, not 70%, and 10% of the time you have spare power to use for something suitable), in which power prices are reduced and CO2 emissions will be only 40% of the emissions expected with no renewables.
    You would expect to eat into the 40% using CSP – concentrated solar power, in which the sun’s rays are focussed on a target contain molten salt. The hot salt is stored and can be used after the sun goes down to generate power to satisfy an evening peak. The straight financial case for this is more complicated and the assumptions less clear, so let us leave it for now. There are other ways of cutting into the 40% too, but, hey, the picture on this might change significantly by 2030 so why worry about it right now – we are nowhere near the full wind and solar capacity required yet, so let’s do that one first.
    So by using fossil fuel + wind + solar there is a good chance that power from the 2030 grid will be cheaper than today, even though you have 3X the generation capacity installed, because of the huge fuel savings. Fossil fuel remains the backup to the gaps in wind and solar generation.
    The trick is to think of it, not as wind and solar or fossil fuel, but wind and solar and fossil fuel, and focus on possible fossil fuel cost savings. Then the possibilities and limitations become clearer.
    Allan MacRae said

    The Capacity Factor of wind power is typically a bit over 20%.

    This is a cherrypick of old technology wind turbine capacity factors.
    As wind turbines get bigger they get higher too, and the wind speed at 100m above the ground is 30% higher than 10m off the ground, giving 120% higher power output.
    But wait, there is even more shocking news to come!
    Silent wind power revolution
    The trend nowadays is to have larger rotors (power output is proportional to area swept, as you might expect), but smaller generators. These techniques are predicted to achieve capacity factors of 60% from onshore wind using specially designed turbines in specific windy areas.
    See http://cleantechnica.com/2015/05/26/new-wind-turbines-capacity-factor-increase-40-60/
    and http://cf01.erneuerbareenergien.schluetersche.de/files/smfiledata/4/7/8/6/3/2/114bSWRcaseUSA.pdf
    This second reference explains that the new technology can be used to achieve a 60% onshore wind capacity factor in an area of just under 2m square kilometres area of the USA, and 3m square kilometers for a capacity factor of 50%. See page 25 of the second link above.
    Clearly the higher capacity factors translates into lower wind generation costs.
    In conclusion, the future onshore wind capacity factors are likely to rise significantly. 20% was a valid figure only for the early days of wind. Current new wind install capacity factors are in excess of 30%. Future USA onshore wind installations are more likely to be in the range of 40-60%.

    • Climate Pete:
      Most people want to switch their lights on – not off – when the Sun goes down.
      Unless and until large scale energy storage is perfected then solar power will remain an inconvenience and an expensive additional cost to an electricity grid supply system.
      Your verbose ‘BS baffles brains’ cannot alter these truths.
      Richard

      • Solar and wind will soon be cheaper than the fuel costs for fossil fuel generation. At that point you use them when available and fossil fuel when not.

      • Climate Pete:
        You demonstrate complete ignorance of the subject when you write this nonsense

        Solar and wind will soon be cheaper than the fuel costs for fossil fuel generation. At that point you use them when available and fossil fuel when not.

        Firstly, that is an admission by you that “solar and wind” now cost more than “the fuel costs for fossil fuel generation”.
        Secondly, fuel costs are not the only costs of power generation. Indeed, wind and solar have no fuel costs but you admit they now cost more than “the fuel costs for fossil fuel generation”. There is no possibility of wind and solar becoming cheaper than fossil fuel generation in the foreseeable future.
        Thirdly, and most importantly, your suggestion that “you use them (i.e. wind and solar) when available and fossil fuel when not” is a suggestion that would increase the costs of power generation, increase (n.b. INCREASE) the fuel consumed by fossil fueled power stations, and increases emission from power generation.
        I explain this as follows.
        As you would know if you had read and understood my lecture which I linked for you,
        Conventional (i.e. thermal) power stations fission a material or burn a fuel to obtain heat that is used to boil water and to superheat the resulting steam which is fed to steam turbines (some power stations – e.g. combined cycle gas turbine: CCGT – also use gas turbines in combination with steam turbines). The turbines drive turbogenerators that make electricity.
        A thermal power station takes days to start producing electricity from a cold start. Time is
        needed to boil the water, to superheat the steam, to warm all the components of the power station, and to spin the turbogenerators up to operating speed (anybody who has boiled a kettle knows this will not be instant).
        Therefore, the thermal power stations do not – and cannot – stop using fossil fuels when wind turbines operate. The power stations need to keep burning their fuel to boil their water, to superheat their steam, to warm all their components, and to spin their turbogenerators at operating speed so they can generate when the wind turbines don’t operate.
        Furtheremore, each thermal power station is designed to provide an output of electricity. It can only provide very little more or very little less than this output (i.e. in the jargon a power station has a “low turndown ratio”). And if it provides less electricity – e.g. because the wind changes so a wind farm starts generating – then it uses MORE fuel so creates more emissions. This is because its efficiency reduces when it produces less than optimum electricity output (the effect is like driving a car at 5 mph in fifth gear: it can be done but it uses a lot of fuel).
        Climate Pete, I don’t know if you have been misled by wind industry disinformation or if you are employed by the wind industry to spread disinformation. But your post I am here answering demonstrates that one of these is the case.
        Richard

    • Climate Pete:
      Global electricity production increases by about 450 terawatt hours per year.Thats roughly the equivalent of adding a country the size of Brazil every year.What would it take to keep up with just the growth in global electricity demand?The United States has more wind capacity than any other country,about 60,000 megawatts at the end of 2012.So just to keep up with the electricity demand growth,the world would have to install about four times as much wind energy capacity as the States has right now and would have to do so annually.Dream on my boy.
      It gets even sillier when you look at carbon dioxide emissions.According to the American Wind Energy Association 60,000 megawatts of wind energy can reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 80 million tons per year.So to stop the growth in global carbon dioxide emissions of 500 million tons per year,using wind energy alone,requires the installation of about 375,000 megawatts of new wind energy capacity annually.The power density of wind energy is about 1 watt per square metre so a land area of 375,000 square kilometers would need to be covered.Thats an area the size of Germany to be covered in wind turbines every year.You want daily?About a thousand square kilometres per day.
      Thats not climate science,Pete,it’s arithmatic.

      • JB, remember that if you put up turbines on farmland, you can still use the land for farmng. Wind turbines don’t prevent you from tilling the soil underneath them, so the “power density/land use” argument is moot.

      • Joel,get real mate.We’re talking about thousands of sq kilometres.You can’t get round that area on bikes.What are you proposing,that we beam the farmers and maintence crews in?Maybe we could adapt the turbines to double as housing.I am sure if we painted them nice colours and carpeted the stairs everyone would love to live in one,especially because they were helping save the planet.

      • Very little offshore wind capacity has been or will be built because it is 4 times more expensive than onshore.To quote one of your high priests,James Hansen,’suggesting that renewables will let us phase rapidly off fossil fuels in the US,China,India or the world as a whole is almost the equivelent of believing in the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy’
        So what do you know that he doesn’t?

      • JB is a little out of date on offshore wind prices. The contract for power from the 400MW Danish Horns rev 3 offshore wind farm has been signed for around $12 / KWh – not the cheapest form of power by far, but certainly not four times fossil fuel generation. More like 50% more expensive, and this for a technology that is far from mature.
        Watch out onshore wind!! When UK gets in contract prices at some point for the 2.4 GW first phase wind farm of Dogger Bank (total 7.2 GW), we might see offshore wind prices tumble like there’s no tomorrow.
        http://renews.biz/84884/vattenfall-wins-horns-rev-3-tender/

      • Both Joel and JB have it dead wrong!!!
        You can’t be a real macho offshore (and maybe onshore) wind turbine unless you have a proper helicopter landing pad at the top of your nacelle.

      • If they’d only had helicopters back when wind was abandoned industrially.
        =================

    • The factor you overlook is straighforward meteorology. High pressure regions can cover vast amounts of land, and during such events, NO turbines in that region produce any useful output. In some cases the whole of Europe has near-nil winds for days on end.
      That, and the energy available in sunshine drops by a factor of at least ten in cloudy conditions. So, no matter how efficient your PV panels, clouds reduce their output to less than 10%. You cannot get more out than arrives in. The other problem for load balancing is that solar output can vary extremely quickly in strong wind, part cloud cover condtions, far faster in fact than large turbine output varies.

      • is there a wind-based solution to reducing the wind generation gap
        Ian makes a very good point here. Expanding the grid size in Europe alone only increases wind capacity factors a little. So the straight answer to the question is
        Don’t know what you can do about it in the USA. But here in Europe there’s a very good solution to reducing wind power gaps.
        You extend the mooted European Supergrid to North Africa. There the wind does not correlate with European wind because it is the trade winds whistling over from the Carribean. When they hit the coast of Africa they turn to go South East. The Trade Winds are caused by tropical convection, so the rise in the tropics with a particular angular momentum caused by the earth’s rotational speed (in km/hour) – which is maximum in the tropics. Then they descend in the sub-tropics, and because the earth’s rotation is less there but angular momentum must be conserved, the wind speeds are generally good and the wind is more constant than Europe.
        It is the different physical cause which makes North African wind independent of European wind.
        You must factor in something like 1.5 cents per kWh to get North African power into Europe (say London).
        It’s obvious, but let’s say it anyway – this does not apply to European and North African solar power because they are at the same longitude and the sun therefore keeps very similar hours!!
        In summary there’s no European solution, but there’s an excellent North African solution to the gaps in European wind!!!

      • Oops, meant the trade winds blowing West to East turn sharp right and end up blowing North East to South West (not to South East). Apologies for this.

  33. Climate Pete:
    If wind power were economic and viable then oil tankers would be sailing ships.
    Wind power for power generation is
    expensive,
    polluting,
    environmentally damaging,
    only provides electricity when the wind is strong enough but not too strong,
    and never provides electricity of use to and electricity grid supply,
    but provides an additional cost to an electricity grid supply system.
    Anybody who wants to understand these realities can read this.
    Richard

      • Bill Treuren:
        You say wind power needs no subsidy. Really?
        Please explain why they get both subsidies and mandates which – as the above essay explains – require ‘tame’ politicians to maintain.
        Richard

      • I think he was being ironic. Your question is for Acolyte First Class, Climate Pete.
        ===========

    • Richard document is from 2006.
      Richard,
      Things have changed very considerably since 2003, which is the date of most of the data in your presentation. Wind power is very considerably cheaper than it was. New onshore wind capacity factors are considerably higher than they were in 2003.
      Onshore wind power is now :
      often cheaper than the most efficient gas generation
      much less polluting than fossil fuel generation
      much lower level of environmental damage than fossil fuel generation
      much lower level of avian deaths than fossil fuel generation
      higher capacity factor – expected to be up to 60% for onshore wind in the near future in good locations

      • “Onshore wind power is now :
        often cheaper than the most efficient gas generation”

        But we can never get rid of the gas/coal/nuclear generation because the wind is entirely unreliable and unpredictable.
        So we’re paying for it twice, meaning that the wind turbines are entirely superfluous.
        Further, the sheer area of land necessary to build sufficient turbines to produce as much energy as one average output CCGT plant is massive, and like it or not the intrusiveness of wind turbines is rapidly alienating increasingly large numbers of the electorate.
        Plus the environmental effects of the several thousand tons of concrete – a major source of CO2 – and the extraction of the rare earths such as neodymium that is necessary to build compact generators is something you wind enthusiasts never take into account.
        The concentration of rare earths in the ore is very low, so they must be separated and purified, using hydro-metallurgical techniques and acid baths. China accounts for 97% of global output of these precious substances, with two-thirds produced in Baotou.
        The foul waters of the tailings pond contain all sorts of toxic chemicals, but also radioactive elements such as thorium which, if ingested, cause cancers of the pancreas and lungs, and leukaemia. “Before the factories were built, there were just fields here as far as the eye can see. In the place of this radioactive sludge, there were watermelons, aubergines and tomatoes,” says Li Guirong with a sigh.

        http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2012/aug/07/china-rare-earth-village-pollution

      • 1) ” the wind is entirely unreliable and unpredictable.”
        ..
        No, three day and five day weather forecasts are pretty accurate as far as predicting wind speed and direction. This allows utilities that use wind as a source to schedule loads.
        ..
        2) ” rare earths such as neodymium that is necessary to build compact generators”
        ..
        Large wind turbines in utility scale wind farms are not of a direct drive design. They do not use permanent magnets made with neodymium. Their magnetic fields are produced electrically.

      • PS catweazle666
        ” the intrusiveness of wind turbines is rapidly alienating increasingly large numbers of the electorate.”

        That’s funny. The cattle grazing under the turbines in Texas don’t seem to mind them at all. The ranchers who lease their land to the wind farms also like the additional rent checks that arrive monthly.

        • Joel D. Jackson: ” the intrusiveness of wind turbines is rapidly alienating increasingly large numbers of the electorate.”

          That’s funny. The cattle grazing under the turbines in Texas don’t seem to mind them at all.

          Last time I looked, there were no cattle on the electoral roll.

      • Climate Pete:
        You assert to me

        Things have changed very considerably since 2003, which is the date of most of the data in your presentation. Wind power is very considerably cheaper than it was. New onshore wind capacity factors are considerably higher than they were in 2003.

        The Laws of Physics have NOT changed since 2003.
        The explanations I proved in this lecture each and all remain true.
        All energy is “free”: it was all created at the Big Bang and now cannot be created or destroyed. But it is expensive to collect energy and to concentrate it so it can do useful work.
        Fortunately, nature has done much of the collection and concentration for us.
        The energy concentrated in ancient stars is available in radioactive materials, notably uranium. Energy from formation of the solar system (including collected radioactivity) is available as geothermal energy. Solar energy collected by photosynthesis over geological ages is available as fossil fuels. Solar energy collected by evapouration of water over large areas is available as hydropower.
        Diffuse energy sources were used for millennia because higher energy densities were not available. These diffuse sources included wind power, solar power, biomass and power of the muscles of slaves and animals.
        These diffuse sources were abandoned when the greater energy intensity in fossil fuels became available to do work by use of the steam engine. But, of course, hydropower was not abandoned because it has high energy intensity.
        There is no possibility that an industrialised civilisation can operate if it abandons the sources of high energy density collected by nature and returns to using the energy that humans collect themselves by e.g. using wind turbines and solar panels.
        Add to that the fact that wind and solar are intermittent so real power stations must operate all the time to ensure there is power when e.g. there is no wind at night and it is unavoidable that wind power and solar power are not needed and are expensive additional costs for power generation.
        As I said,
        If wind power were economic and viable then oil tankers would be sailing ships
        And
        Most people want to switch their lights on – not off – when the Sun goes down.
        Richard

      • Four percent. A windmill can replace four percent of its rated capacity in reliable back-up power. Climate Pete, they been foolin’ you again.
        ===============

      • How could Richard possibly get the wind physics right but the conclusion wrong?
        To summarise the physics in Richard’s document, wind power is proportional to the area swept (square of the rotor radius or diameter) and to the cube of the wind speed.
        http://scienceandpublicpolicy.org/images/stories/papers/reprint/courtney_2006_lecture.pdf
        The big factor Richard omits is that wind speed increases by height :
        I can find no mention whatsoever of this fact in Richard’s document above, and it is crucial, as the maths below shows.
        http://www.mpoweruk.com/images/speed_height.gif
        At 110m off the ground the wind speed is 1.4 times the wind speed at 10m off the ground.
        Cube this and at 110m off the ground the available power is 2.7 times the power 10m off the ground.
        At the time Richard’s document was written the largest radius rotor he documents was 22m, and hub heights were considerably lower than at present. Today there are turbines installed with rotors of 80m radius (160m diameter) and 100m (200m diameter) is on the drawing board.
        This has significant impacts. For instance all the Danish capacity factors in his document were around 20%.
        The average capacity factor for new Danish offshore wind farms in 2014 was over 40%.
        New “silent wind power revolution” technology wind turbines (next generation but one) are expected to achieve 60% capacity factors in 2m square km of the best USA wind areas.
        See http://cleantechnica.com/2015/05/26/new-wind-turbines-capacity-factor-increase-40-60/
        and http://cf01.erneuerbareenergien.schluetersche.de/files/smfiledata/4/7/8/6/3/2/114bSWRcaseUSA.pdf
        In conclusion Richard’s document has some good physics in it, but is missing some crucial factors which causes his conclusions to be wrong.

      • Climate Pete:
        You ask the mistaken question and say

        How could Richard possibly get the wind physics right but the conclusion wrong?
        To summarise the physics in Richard’s document, wind power is proportional to the area swept (square of the rotor radius or diameter) and to the cube of the wind speed.
        http://scienceandpublicpolicy.org/images/stories/papers/reprint/courtney_2006_lecture.pdf
        The big factor Richard omits is that wind speed increases by height

        NO!
        The big factor that you ignore – although you state it – is
        wind power is proportional to the cube of the wind speed.
        Wind is rarely constant and often gusts. So, if a wind turbine is not to spin out of control it requires a large safety factor on its acceptable high wind speed. This is true whatever the size of a turbine, and it means a wind turbine operates for less than half the time (usually less than 30% of the time). Indeed, you admit this and say you hope

        New “silent wind power revolution” technology wind turbines (next generation but one) are expected to achieve 60% capacity factors in 2m square km of the best USA wind areas.

        So, following 3.5 millennia of development, in the “next generation but one” of wind turbines you hope there will be a “revolution” which will enable wind turbines to operate for slightly more than half the time “in 2m square km of the best USA wind areas”.
        I assume these revolutionary turbines will swat pigs instead of birds as they fly by.
        Whether or not your hope of some turbines operating for 60% of the time is ever fulfilled, wind power is ridiculously intermittent and so is an unreliable addition to a grid supply which needs to provide power to match demand.
        Hence, wind power is a nuisance to a grid operator who would rarely use it if he were not mandated to.
        Richard

  34. I wonder how the narrative from the left would change if they weren’t wind farms scattered over the countryside but mobile phone towers

    • I know how. I’ve made that same point several time the answer is always the same “but cell towers are ugly and windmills are beautiful.”

  35. In Ontario, the Liberal government paid a South Korean company to build 40 plus wind farms and counting. All in rural farm land areas. People have had to walk away from their homes. They could not live there anymore. But the cities keep electing the Liberals. Now municipalities are no longer allowed a say in wind farm layout. Wind farms have increased electricity prices from .04 cents KWH to 29 cents a KWH in 12 years. The Liberals promise it will double. At present 10% of Ontario citizens can no longer afford electricity.
    It is time they built the rest of the wind farms in the cities, esp in the rich parts where the Liberals live. One in each backyard in the Bridlepath.

  36. Joel D. Jackson June 20, 2015 at 4:46 pm says.
    “JB, remember that if you put up turbines on farmland, you can still use the land for farmng. Wind turbines don’t prevent you from tilling the soil underneath them, so the “power density/land use” argument is moot.”
    http://www.eolos.umn.edu/sites/windpower.umn.edu/files/DSC_0716.JPG
    Foundation of the 2.5MW Turbine is Nearing Completion | Eolos
    large area on the compression side of the foundation. The side of the foundation where the tower section is under tension is held in place by the shear weight of the foundation
    http://www.epaw.org/images/wind_turbine_foundation.jpg

  37. …. and in moorland areas these monstrous foundations affect the hydrology of upland rivulets and bogs whilst at the same time leaching lethal alkaline contamination into sea trout and salmon spawning grounds, killing not only the salmonids/ova but Also the benthic creatures on which they feed.

    • They will become memorials to our foolishness unless we are so ashamed of them we gather the will and the treasure to remove them.
      ====================

  38. How come no one ever considers the energy required to come up with a monetary subsidy, at some level it is the output of real work. You can be sure that energy primarily comes from burning fossil fuels and nuclear power. Just saying…

  39. Some responses to Richard Courtney….
    How fast is fast-start fossil fuel generation?
    http://www.energy.siemens.com/br/pool/hq/power-generation/power-plants/gas-fired-power-plants/combined-cycle-powerplants/Fast_cycling_and_rapid_start-up_US.pdf
    This Siemens document talks about a design of a 40 minute start time from cold for a combined cycle gas turbine system. They also claim that a plant tested started in 30 minutes, while still achieving a 59% net efficiency.
    Richard seemed to think fossil fuel generation start should take days. This well might have been true for much older coal plants.
    To put this into context, here is a chart giving the predictability of wind power at various times in advance.
    http://www.businessspectator.com.au/sites/default/files/styles/full_width/public/forecasting%20error.png
    You can see that one hour ahead wind is predictable to less than 4% of rated capacity. To do this well you have to pay weather forecasters for the required wind speed information. The larger the area over which your wind power is aggregated, the better the forecast will be. Solar power predictability is comparable – after all, you know when it is day and when night, so all you have to work out is the clouds.
    Clearly a combination of a fast start Siemens CCGT plant and a corresponding nameplate capacity of wind farms will work pretty well together.
    How do wind and solar LCOE prices currently compare with fossil fuel variable (mainly fuel) costs?
    http://api.ning.com/files/PPvr8qsXbQmWJ543dyFtSV5d1B86gBEHqzx0Jg0yEHB7rnAuG*K631Tm3x9xH-NSVmFAFlQfNT-*w1T77–YIeK-U4heQgXK/lcoe20152019WithFuelCostBars.png
    The black bars under gas and coal are the EIA variable costs which are mostly fuel.
    Are there interests to declare conflicts of interest floating around here?
    My income comes from the pension as a result of 34 years work for a large IT company. As part of this work I provided two years of support to each of MANWEB (Merseyside and North Wales Electricity Board) in the early 1980s and to Shell six years late. I am now a self-funded, part-time PhD student (paying around £2000 in annual fees) in condensed matter physics at Imperial College London, and have been paid small sums by them for normal PhD student demonstrating work to undergraduates. I thus have no financial ties to the energy industry.
    Richard’s document contains the following paragraph “Richard is a respected authority on energy issues, especially clean coal technology. He has been the Senior Materials Scientist of the UK’s Coal Research Establishment, has served as a Technical Advisor to the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC), possesses several patents, and has published papers in many journals including Nature, Microscopy and Filtration. He is the author of the chapter on coal in Kempes Engineers Yearbook.”

    • How funny you are. No one suspects you of conflict of interest ties to the fossil fuel industry, but your disclaimer is as amusing as it is revelatory.
      ===============

      • Kim, last time I looked there was an accusation in a post not that far above which accused me of being a paid schill for the wind industry – hence my response above. Now it seems to have disappeared. Since I am not aware that normal users can edit posts once posted, presumably this was removed by a moderator.

    • Pete,
      Germany has 23K+ wind mills. Roughly 35,000 MW of installed capacity. The average capacity factor is 17-19% based on an average of the last three years of generation. As a PhD student why don’t you use actual data rather than a EPA and Lazard report (their key assumption around wind is it’s capacity factor is closer to 30-40%.) That one fact roughly doubles the cost of wind power in your chart. Please update the chart accordingly and resubmit to WUWT.

      • Because Germany went hell for leather very early for renewables, and hence does not have a high proportion of state of the art wind turbines installed.
        Lazard uses a factor of 30-40% because that is what modern wind turbines installed recently actually achieve in production. There are no large modern turbines installed in decent locations with capacity factors as low as 17-19%.
        If you are going to go by actual data then you ought to be very careful to make sure you only include the latest wind technology.
        Your figure of 17-19% is averaging capacity factors back twenty years or more. This is more of the same as Richard who is attacking new wind installation based on very old capacity factors from 2003 backwards.
        How are the figures for old technology relevant to the next set of wind farm installations? They are not. You want up-to-date figures to make the next decision.
        The chart is very explicit. It is for costs of installing wind equipment in the time frame of 2015 to 2019. if you want a chart of the outdate but still used turbines then produce it yourself. That chart took me a few days of Java graphics programming but I can now produce modified versions very quickly.
        Further the chart gives the sources for ever figure used in its production.

    • Pete,
      Natural Gas is about 33% cheaper than the your projections right now, maybe you should update that for your thesis too.

      • When using commodity prices such as natural gas you have to price in future price risk too. You can hedge against it, which gives you a fixed future price. This is what you should use in your costs case, not current commodity prices, but prices plus hedging.
        A good example of the price variability effect made itself felt when Georgetown, Texas was looking to sign a 20 or 25 year power contract. They went for renewables in the end, not because of any commitment to reducing emissions, but because the providers were willing to commit to power prices 20 years out. Shale gas generation was similarly priced short-term, but suppliers would only commit to a 5 or 6 year contract, because no supplier believed gas prices would stay low long enough to commit to a 20 or 25 year contract.
        So Georgetown ended up 100% renewables, not because it wanted that, but because it made commercial sense to lock in the low fixed price of renewables for 25 years.
        http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2015/06/11/3666649/georgetown-texas-one-hundred-percent-renewable/

      • Incidentally, climate change and energy is my hobby, and nothing to do with my thesis topic. Imperial College London has both the Energy Futures Lab and the Grantham Institute for Climate Change and I regularly attend the seminary for each of these organisations. Not that they go into the level of detail of stuff I’ve been posting here, but they do give a very good overview level of what is going on.

    • Climate Pete:
      You cite a Siemens advertising blurb as suggesting a CCGT plant “tested started in 30 minutes, while still achieving a 59% net efficiency”.
      Well, I have two responses (other than I don’t believe it) to that claim.
      Firstly, if it is true then wind power would still be an unnecessary additional cost.
      Why shut down the CCGT plant to make room for the more costly wind power?
      Secondly, the UK government is providing diesel generators for rapid start-up of back-up for wind farms.
      Why do you think the diesel generators are being installed instead of the cheaper and more efficient CCGT plants (available ‘off the shelf’ for construction in 18 months) if the CCGT can start-up adequately fast?
      Richard

    • Climate Pete:
      You write

      Kim, last time I looked there was an accusation in a post not that far above which accused me of being a paid schill for the wind industry – hence my response above. Now it seems to have disappeared. Since I am not aware that normal users can edit posts once posted, presumably this was removed by a moderator.

      I suspect you may be referring to my post that is here which concludes saying

      Climate Pete, I don’t know if you have been misled by wind industry disinformation or if you are employed by the wind industry to spread disinformation. But your post I am here answering demonstrates that one of these is the case.

      Anyone who uses the link I have provided can see that post has not been deleted, and I stand by every word of it.
      Richard

      • Apologies,
        Things clearly have been moving very fast on this thread and I clearly didn’t look far enough up. Neither did Kim.

      • I use the most recent sources of information to form my opinions. The US DoE (Department of Energy) and Lazards V8 are the documents providing that.
        Are you accusing these two organisations of lying?

      • Climate Pete:
        I made no accusations that the US DoE (Department of Energy) and Lazards V8 are “lying”.
        Have you stopped beating your wife?
        Richard

  40. I have a lot of time for Barry Brook who is more convinced about the threat of CO2 induced warming than I am to date, but nevertheless he knows that fickle solar and wind won’t cut it and hence advocates nuclear energy to replace fossil fuel based energy because of the likely insurmountable energy storage problem-
    http://www.theenergycollective.com/barrybrook/471651/catch-22-energy-storage
    Game set and match for any reasonable intelligence, but unfortunately that’s in short supply with those who would accuse him of heresy with nuclear energy advocacy, in order to solve their perceived problem. They’re still in la la land dreaming of idyllic rural scenes with horse, windmill and millstream while the rest of we serfs are out of the frame, bending our backs with scything and stooking to keep them in the feudal manner to which they are energy accustomed. Exhorting us all to scythe harder so their daily bread will rise better no doubt.

  41. More combined cycle gas turbine fast start information
    https://www.ge-distributedpower.com/products/power-generation/65-120mw/lms100-pa
    (10 minutes, 116 MW)
    http://www.power-eng.com/articles/print/volume-117/issue-6/features/gas-turbine-combined-cycle-fast-start-the-physics-behind-the-con.html
    (more detail on the physics behind fast start than anyone here could possibly want – including me)
    Why shut down the CCGT plant to make room for the more expensive [?????] wind power?
    You don’t shut down the CCGT plant (well not permanently, just when the wind is blowing).
    On most power contracts the power consumer carries the price risk of fuel price variations. However, there are financial instruments available to hedge against future fuel prices. You do pay a premium for such hedging. The further out you want to hedge the higher the risk and the higher the premium.
    So you would expect the fuel and variable costs included in the DOE LCOE document for CCGT gas generation to include the cost of some hedging – otherwise the upside price risk is high and the consumers are taking all this risk themselves.
    Clearly wind power prices paid by a utility to the wind farm owners are fixed at the point of contract signature and will then be static for the next 20 or 25 years. The wind farm owners in turn can sign a back-to back contract with the the turbine makers for maintenance which is their major cost since these things operate unattended.
    Here is some more information on wind costs
    http://energy.gov/sites/prod/files/2014/08/f18/2013%20Wind%20Technologies%20Market%20Report_1.pdf
    Although the title says 2013, the report was published in August 2014 so is the most recent version. The DOE appear to publish annually so you would expect the 2014 report to appear in a couple of months.
    The Levelised PPA chart on page 58 shows that the 2013 subsidised contract price of wind power in the US interior is around the 2 US cents/kWh ($20/MWh). These are for PPA contracts signed in 2013, not price projections. Most of the wind farms have been built and are in production, though some were still under construction at the date of the report. By my reckoning you should add 2.3 US cents/kWh for the federal PTC subsidy (production tax credit) subsidy, which places the LCOE price for US interior wind power electricity at well under $50/MWh. Certain interior states may have other subsidies available, of which I know little. You would expect the Lazards V8 documents below to include the effect of local subsidies when calculating wind price. Page 2 of Lazards V8 confirms minimum unsubsidized wind prices below $50/MWh – actually $37/MWh.
    http://www.lazard.com/PDF/Levelized%20Cost%20of%20Energy%20-%20Version%208.0.pdf
    From this chart, there are no grounds to say that wind power is more expensive than gas CCGT generation. Clearly electricity from new US interior wind is much cheaper than new CCGT plant. New US interior wind is also going to be cheaper than CCGT variable costs which include hedging for natural gas fuel prices. See chart below
    http://w3.windfair.net/uploads/notice/preview/16753/awea_33.jpg
    It doesn’t take much imagination to see the way this is going, with or without wind power subsidies. And the grey band is just the natural gas fuel costs, not the total LCOE of new CCGT generation.
    As to shutting the CCGT plant, this is not what you should do. You get cheaper power overall by installing wind power to match the plant output, taking the zero-fuel wind power when available, then running the CCGT plant when it is not. By 2030 you should be installing solar PV too, by which time the CCGT plant will be running only 30% of the time – maybe less when some wind capacity factors start to approach 60% with the next but one generation of wind turbines.
    So keep the same CCGT capacity as before, but watch the utilisation go down from 80-90% to 30% as renewables provide fuel cost savings overall.
    How to save the world as an engineer – wind turbine ball bearings and rotors
    There has been a continuing problem with ball bearing wear on wind turbines, which often results in failure around the 18 to 20 year mark, whereas the life of most of the wind turbine is expected to be at least 25 years. Replacement of bearings is expensive as you have to dismantle the nacelle (hub).
    Before the problem was properly understood it was not priced into the manufacturer maintenance contracts, and the manufacturers lost money on this over a few years.
    However, nowadays the problem is well understood and the frequency of bearing failure (and all other types of wind turbine failure) is priced into the maintenance contract prices. From the chart on page 54 of the Lazard’s report, the average total O&M costs are under $10/MWh. From other charts it looks like $5-6 MWh for maintenance contracts on new installations is typical. All these costs are included in the LCOE figures.
    Some modern turbines are “direct drive” having eliminated the gear box and all the ball bearings in it.
    But there is scope for innovation here which makes a real difference. If someone can improve bearing wear characteristics so that they last for the lifetime of the wind turbine, then that would knock a fraction of a cents off maintenance costs and wind power LCOE.
    Another challenge is to make rotors in excess of 100m length – say 120m. This is going to knock a bigger fraction of a cent off the already-low wind power prices.
    UK government is providing diesel generators for rapid start-up of back-up for wind farms.
    Why do you think the diesel generators are being installed instead of the cheaper and more efficient CCGT plants (available ‘off the shelf’ for construction in 18 months) if the CCGT can start-up adequately fast?

    It sounds like this is nothing to do with wind variability, but more to do with re-booting the power network when there has been a complete failure, or maybe a local region has failed and been cut off and cannot be reconnected quickly so it has to be rebooted as a stand-alone network. This needs a stand-alone generator which does not need a grid frequency reference to provide stable 50Hz or 60Hz power.
    Network reboot isn’t an area I know much about, but here are some thoughts. If anyone does know more please would they post more information.
    Although 30 minutes from a CCGT generator is fast in terms of supplementing variable wind output, in the case of a local or widespread network failure needing a reboot you need to get the network back up immediately, not in 30 minutes.
    My understanding of diesel generation costs is that capital costs are very low, but fuel costs are extremely high. However, if you are only using such equipment for network reboot, rather than supplying power over long periods of time, then this is absolutely fine.
    I would have thought CCGT and coal-fired stations would need similar local reboot immediate-start generators too.

  42. Climate Pete:
    One sided propoganda that misleads is not valid “evidence”. Even you admitted in this thread here that wind power is more costly than electricity from installed power stations.
    Anyway, you have not addressed the fact that a grid operator would avoid using intermittent windpower in the absence of mandates that force him to accept it onto the grid.
    Give up. Your campaigning on behalf of Big Wind is fooling nobody except perhaps yourself.
    Richard

    • Richard,
      However you wish to twist my words, I have presented two set of evidence (Lazards V8 and the Doe 2013 Wind Technologies report) that the cheapest wind power is now cheaper than the fuel and other variable costs of CCGT gas generation.
      It really shouldn’t matter what I say, because . You should be looking at the evidence behind it. And this is clear.
      The DoE 2013 WT report, which hopefully you have now scanned, says

      As shown, average wind PPA prices from contracts executed in 2011 and 2012 start out higher than the range of fuel cost projections, but decline (in real 2013$) over time and soon fall within and then eventually below the range. The sample of PPAs executed in 2013 has an average price stream that begins below the range of natural gas fuel cost projections, and that remains below even the low-end of gas price forecasts for two decades.

      And this is true even if you take into account the 2.3 cents PTC federal subsidy.
      So what evidence are you basing your opinions on? Let’s see it please.

    • How can the German grid be so reliable despite using huge quantities of variable wind and solar power
      richardscourtney said “you have not addressed the fact that a grid operator would avoid using intermittent windpower in the absence of mandates that force him to accept it onto the grid.”
      Sure, grid operators want a quiet life, just like the rest of us. That is hardly the point.
      To properly manage a grid with high levels of connected wind and solar takes more effort than to manage a grid with just fossil fuel generation. And you need Smart Grid technologies.
      That doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be done. If that means giving grid operators different targets so be it.
      The best experience of high levels of renewables generation is from Germany, which is now at about 34% renewables. UK is currently around 20%, although around 1/3 of that is biomass and biofuels which does not count in my eyes.
      German grid reliability is second to none – around 15 minutes per consumer outage per year through 2013. And it certainly hasn’t degraded as penetration of renewables has soared. It has remained the same.
      http://energytransition.de/files/2014/08/70gridstabilitygermany.png
      Contrast that with US grid reliability.
      http://c1cleantechnicacom.wpengine.netdna-cdn.com/files/2014/08/Screenshot-2014-08-07-15.47.48-570×428.png
      Why should this be?
      Most people don’t understand that fossil fuel generation is actually quite unreliable. Turbines and generators are mechanical devices, and if you lose a large generating set in a fossil fuel station the grid could lose 500MW of power in a fraction of a second.
      By contrast renewables generation, being lower power density, comes in much smaller chunks. Current maximum wind turbine size are 6MW, though doubtless going up by the day. You can lose two or three of these without even noticing. Solar I don’t know, but large solar farms probably have multiple invertors.
      Further, wind and solar are predictable to within a few percent one hour ahead – enough time to switch on fast-start CCGT, as we discussed. And modern wind turbines can be modulated so they are not necessarily all working at full available power at all times, allowing them to be used to provide or absorb changes in other types of generation.
      So the loss of one large fossil fuel generator is disastrous, whereas with appropriate attention (more work for grid operators) the short-term predictability of renewables is actually much better, and the mechanical breakdown implicatation inconsequential.
      The consequence of this is that you should be able to run a grid with high levels of renewables generation with a smaller level of spinning reserve. Clearly you need to be able to call on fast-start gas generation on an hour-by-hour basis, but this is outside the spinning reserve requirement.
      Higher levels of renewables take more grid management, but it is well worth it, because should enable you to deliver cost savings and provide higher levels of reliability. You do need more sophisticated tools, computers and weather forecasts to provide the information required to manage such a grid. The costs of these are peanuts compared with any saving you can make in actual generation or hot standby requirements
      So make the grid operators do the extra work necessary to manage a grid with high levels of renewables, but give them the Smart Grid tools they need to do their job. Why should they have a cushy job when the rest of us do not?

    • Climate Pete:
      I do NOT “want to twist {your} words”. Your assertions are wrong so I – and others – refute them. Indeed, your persistent misrepresentations of my words are objectionable and I have already objected to them.
      Also, you have NOT answered any of my requests for you to justify any of your outrageously untrue assertions. For example, I here asked you

      You cite a Siemens advertising blurb as suggesting a CCGT plant “tested started in 30 minutes, while still achieving a 59% net efficiency”.
      Well, I have two responses (other than I don’t believe it) to that claim.
      Firstly, if it is true then wind power would still be an unnecessary additional cost.
      Why shut down the CCGT plant to make room for the more costly wind power?
      Secondly, the UK government is providing diesel generators for rapid start-up of back-up for wind farms.
      Why do you think the diesel generators are being installed instead of the cheaper and more efficient CCGT plants (available ‘off the shelf’ for construction in 18 months) if the CCGT can start-up adequately fast?

      and
      As for your latest nonsense, I refer you to the simple truth stated by Allan MacRae here.
      Richard

      • My extensive reply has been posted but awaits moderation. Why some things need moderation and some don’t I do not understand.

      • Now available as “Climate Pete June 23, 2015 at 2:39 am.”
        Individual post links don’t work, as far as I can see. Only thread links.

  43. Note to windy BS-er Climate Pete:
    No Subsidies = No Windfarms. It IS that simple!
    “Wind power – its doesn’t just blow, IT SUCKS!”
    UK Government Scraps 250 Wind Farms As Subsidies Are Axed
    Daily Express, 23 June 2015
    http://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/586219/Windfarms-cuts-taxpayer-subsidies-axed
    by John Ingham
    Large swathes of the British countryside are to be spared the blight of windfarms by the axing of taxpayer subsidies, Energy Secretary Amber Rudd has revealed. She said about 2,500 proposed turbines in 250 projects are now “unlikely to be built”.

    • Allan,
      You have to look at the political picture here. Onshore wind is often unpopular locally because of the NIMBY effect (Not in My Back Yard).
      However, the UK government is not banning onshore wind, merely reducing subsidies. It has also handed over planning consent for wind farms to the local level. My guess is that some onshore wind will still get installed. Let’s wait and see.
      There has been no change to the policy for offshore wind, however, which is actually more expensive, but more politically acceptable – no-one lives in the North Sea.
      UK has announced its intention of developing Dogger Bank offshore wind area – 7.2GW in total which is more than 10% of UK’s load (and probably more than 5% of total electricity supplied per year). The first phase is the 2.4GW Creyke Beck which has just received planning permission – quite a way to go yet. Most likely the contract price for this will be lower than the 400MW Danish Horns rev 3 project for which the contract price was 10.3 Eurocents / kWh. That’s the total that the wind farm owner gets paid and includes the subsidy element.
      Other offshore wind farms are progressing.
      So the under-the-covers political decision from the new government is to continue with wind power expansion, but preferring the uncontentious and expensive offshore wind to locally unpopular andcheaper onshore wind. This is fair enough. That is what politicians are paid to do – take the easy option mostly!!!
      One consequence of UK’s recent emphasis on large-scale offshore wind is that it is going to advance the offshore technology, which will bring cheaper prices for all, including to later UK installations. Germany did this for solar PV. UK is now doing it for offshore wind – and we are the windiest country in the world, so why not?
      So do not assume the change of heart on onshore wind reflects any backing off of the UK commitment to address climate change. It doesn’t. The appointment of Amber Rudd as the minister for the Department of Energy and Climate Change demonstrates that. Cameron could have appointed a climate contrarian. He didn’t.

      • Hello Pete,
        Offshore wind power is twice as costly as onshore wind.
        Grid-connected offshore and onshore wind farms are both uneconomic and require life-of-project subsidies.
        This is also true of grid-connected solar power.
        No energy system makes any sense if it requires life-of-project subsidies.
        Wind power is mature technology – it is unlikely to get much less expensive.
        Solar power is much more expensive than wind power but there still may be an opportunity for major cost reductions.
        The simple test that should be applied to all such technologies is this: If they require life-of-project subsidies, they should not be built.
        If these technologies improve to the point where subsides are not necessary, then build them.
        Years ago I proposed a “super-battery” that would make intermittent power systems like wind and solar more economic. It requires the widespread adoption of electric cars – perhaps in a decade or three it will work.
        http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/02/16/wind-power-plug-pulled-in-illinois/
        Regards, Allan

  44. richardscourtenay said “If wind power were economic and viable then oil tankers would be sailing ships”
    http://www.enercon.de/en-en/2224.htm
    http://www.thiiink.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/11/E-SHIP1-ENERCON.png

    Since its maiden voyage in 2010, the „E-Ship 1“, developed for transporting ENERCON wind turbine components, has covered more than 170,000 sea miles – primarily in the North and Baltic Sea, North and South Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea. Using the Magnus Effect, the four innovative Flettner rotors provide the main engine with additional drive and account for more than 15 percent of the savings. Other innovations such as the streamlined ENERCON-developed propeller and helm as well as the sleek lines of the hull and deck superstructures also contribute to significantly reducing fuel consumption.
    The average savings potential of up to 25% means the ship has an annual fuel savings potential of up to 1,700 tons and annual CO² savings of up to 5,100 tons. With „E-Ship 1“ technology, shipping companies could save up to 1.3 million dollars in fuel costs annually.

    And if a supertanker were to be equipped with the „E-Ship 1“ technology, it would be possible to save up to 9,000 tons of fuel (approx. 27,000 tons CO²), which adds up to roughly 5 million dollars per year.

    The really strange thing is why you guys can’t step back and take the simple view – an energy technology which uses no fuel is highly likely to end up cheaper than one which requires fuel.

    • This photo was stolen from my album. Watermark Enercon E-ship 1 was superimposed over mine. If some people are able to supply me with continuous use by Enercon or its suppliers please advise me. Enercon and their clients are abusive in very many ways. Do not in any way take their say for cash!

      • I was to back-up my saying for years an economic development specialist for for offshore industry, shipbuilding, and metallic fabrication industry including hydro-electrical machines. And I follow what is going on in my local province with that wind generator industry a clear and blatant economic looser venture for my government and the real hook-up to the hydroelectric grid cost are in my opinion largely under evaluated I would say several times more than in USA where its is 3 times under-evaluated for the smaller grids.

  45. Climate Pete:
    I looked at your nonsense to which you referred me.
    It says

    More combined cycle gas turbine fast start information
    https://www.ge-distributedpower.com/products/power-generation/65-120mw/lms100-pa
    (10 minutes, 116 MW)
    http://www.power-eng.com/articles/print/volume-117/issue-6/features/gas-turbine-combined-cycle-fast-start-the-physics-behind-the-con.html
    (more detail on the physics behind fast start than anyone here could possibly want – including me)
    Why shut down the CCGT plant to make room for the more expensive [?????] wind power?
    You don’t shut down the CCGT plant (well not permanently, just when the wind is blowing).

    10 minutes to start up a combined cycle plant? RIDICULOUS!
    It takes days to start-up a combined cycle plant.
    10 minutes is how long it takes a plant on spinning stand-by to operate generation.
    In spinning standby the plant uses as much fuel as when generating electricity.
    And of course “You don’t shut down the CCGT plant (well not permanently, just when the wind is blowing)”. My question was
    Why shut down the CCGT plant to make room for the more costly wind power?
    Clearly, you don’t have an answer to my question that you are willing to admit.
    And you don’t mention my question that was
    “Secondly, the UK government is providing diesel generators for rapid start-up of back-up for wind farms.
    Why do you think the diesel generators are being installed instead of the cheaper and more efficient CCGT plants (available ‘off the shelf’ for construction in 18 months) if the CCGT can start-up adequately fast?”
    Climate Pete, your responses have become so ridiculous that the only reason I can see for you posting them is to waste time.
    Richard

    • Richard,
      As far as the fast-start capabilities of CCGT are concerned you are clearly living in the 20th century, when there was no need for CCGT fast start and the extra costs did not justify providing it.
      Now the situation is different. With increasing penetration of renewables in a number of power markets, no utility in their right minds would install a CCGT plant which did not incorporate fast start.
      The requirement has been understood by the whole industry for some time.
      There is nothing in the laws of physics to say you have to spend days heating various bits before generation can start, and nowadays ramp and decline speed of changing generation is a key parameter.
      You have two choices. You can completely lgnore the evidence I put forward the capabilities of modern plant (which seems to be your current strategy), or you can research the internet to discover the state of the art for yourself. What I am saying is hardly anything new.

  46. Climate Pete:
    OK you have now reached the ulitimate in ignorant idiocy when you write

    The really strange thing is why you guys can’t step back and take the simple view – an energy technology which uses no fuel is highly likely to end up cheaper than one which requires fuel.

    In reality the really strange thing is that you – or anyone – would post that ignorant nonsense especially after I had already refuted it above in this thread here where I wrote

    All energy is “free”: it was all created at the Big Bang and now cannot be created or destroyed. But it is expensive to collect energy and to concentrate it so it can do useful work.
    Fortunately, nature has done much of the collection and concentration for us.
    The energy concentrated in ancient stars is available in radioactive materials, notably uranium. Energy from formation of the solar system (including collected radioactivity) is available as geothermal energy. Solar energy collected by photosynthesis over geological ages is available as fossil fuels. Solar energy collected by evapouration of water over large areas is available as hydropower.
    Diffuse energy sources were used for millennia because higher energy densities were not available. These diffuse sources included wind power, solar power, biomass and power of the muscles of slaves and animals.
    These diffuse sources were abandoned when the greater energy intensity in fossil fuels became available to do work by use of the steam engine. But, of course, hydropower was not abandoned because it has high energy intensity.bold
    There is no possibility that an industrialised civilisation can operate if it abandons the sources of high energy density collected by nature and returns to using the energy that humans collect themselves by e.g. using wind turbines and solar panels.
    Add to that the fact that wind and solar are intermittent so real power stations must operate all the time to ensure there is power when e.g. there is no wind at night and it is unavoidable that wind power and solar power are not needed and are expensive additional costs for power generation.
    As I said,
    If wind power were economic and viable then oil tankers would be sailing ships
    And
    Most people want to switch their lights on – not off – when the Sun goes down.

    And one ship used as an advertisement by ‘Big Wind’ does not refute the truth of my statement that said
    “If wind power were economic and viable then oil tankers would be sailing ships”.
    Richard

    • Richard,
      Repeating the same BS twice does not make it any more true.
      Ignoring the historical stuff no longer relevant at the beginning.
      RS said :
      There is no possibility that an industrialised civilisation can operate if it abandons the sources of high energy density collected by nature and returns to using the energy that humans collect themselves by e.g. using wind turbines and solar panels.
      The logical fallacy here is false dichotomy. It is not diffuse production or concentrated consumption. It can be both. Diffuse production and concentrated consumption can be matched by a very simple invention – wires!!! Together with transformers and other grid equipment wires they allow diffuse production to co-exist with concentrated consumption.
      RS said
      real power stations must operate all the time to ensure there is power when e.g. there is no wind at night and it is unavoidable that wind power and solar power are not needed and are expensive additional costs for power generation.
      Work the costs out using 100% CCGT. Then believe the Lazards and the DoE report when the figures say that wind total LCOE is less than the variable costs of CCGT (mostly fuel). Surely you can see installing the same capacity of wind alongside saves money.
      A second way of looking at it is this. CCGT has low capital costs and high fuel costs. So to have CCGT operating at only 50% utilisation is cheap. Specifically, if you go with the DoE figures the LCOE of CCGT is $72 / MWh, with capital costs of $16 and fixed O&M of $2. Say offshore wind blows only 50% of the time. Then you need to operate the CCGT 50% of the time. Therefore you need to double the capital and O&M costs for each unit, giving an LCOE of $72 + $16 + $2 = $90 per MWh.
      For this 50:50 split, the overall power cost is cheaper provided wind LCOE is no more than $72 – $16 – $2 = $52 / MWh. Since I am saying the best windy areas allow a wind LCOE under $50 / MWh then in those areas wind + CCGT has average LCOE of $70/MWh and is slightly cheaper than CCGT alone which has an average LCOE of $72/MWh.
      And the LCOE of onshore wind is still coming down, as hub heights rise and rotors get longer.
      Solar is not quite there yet, but may well be within five years. It’s had an 80% panel price reduction in the last 5 years and no-one in their right minds thinks this will stop dead in 2015.
      RS said
      If wind power were economic and viable then oil tankers would be sailing ships
      This is both a red herring and a misrepresentation. It is a red herring because the economics of sea transport has very little to do with the economics of power generation. And it is a misrepresentation because lack of wind power on most ships does not prove wind power would be uneconomic on them.
      And you have jumped to conclusions that the one ship I featured was the only one using wind power. Congratulations on being flexible enough to combine three logical fallacies in one statement.

    • Climate Pete
      If you believe the nonsense you promote you are delusional, and if you don’t believe it then your twaddle is malign.
      You ignore all reality whenever it is explained to you, and you complain when it is pointed out that you have ignored it!.
      The use of fossil fuels has done more to benefit human-kind than anything else since the invention of agriculture. Industrial civilisation happened when – and because – the great energy intensity in fossil fuels became available by use of the steam engine so the diffuse energy supplies of wind and solar power were displaced. Hence, human population and life expectancy increased and living standards were improved beyond previous imagining.
      There is no possibility that an industrialised civilisation can operate if it abandons the sources of high energy density collected by nature and returns to using the energy that humans collect themselves by e.g. using wind turbines and solar panels.
      You are calling for a return to ways of life that are short and brutal. And if your desires were fulfilled then the immediately resulting deaths would pale into insignificance the combined activities of Pol Pot, Stal1n and H1tler.

      I shall ignore any more of the twaddle that you post.
      Richard

      • Richard,
        By the main corollary of Godwin’s law you lose the argument – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Godwin's_law. (first mention of Hitler, nazis or the holocaust in a threaded discussion loses, unless that is the subject under discussion).
        It is agreed that fossil fuels has done more to benefit human-kind than anything since the invention of agriculture. However, you can have too much of a good thing, which is what we have now with fossil-fuel caused CO2 emissions at unacceptably high levels.
        Most of the 350-500,000 or 1.2m deaths from air pollution in China each year (depending on whether you believe the Chinese health minister or the WHO) are caused by coal-fired generation, so if China did nothing over the next century it would single handedly beat the total deaths from all those activities you mention.
        And Sheik Yamani, the old Saudi oil minister once said

        The stone age did not end because we ran out of stones.

        However, virtually none of the arguments I have put forward above have relied on climate change or air pollution deaths. Mostly they explore what is going to happen when wind and solar MWh prices fall below the fuel prices alone for firstly CCGT generation, then later on for coal generation (though there will be no coal generation left by that time in USA or Europer).
        And solar prices dropping through the floor are coming much much faster than you think.
        Time to get real, Richard.

  47. How about including some pictures of exploding oil refineries on this site once in a while? C’mon, at least give the impression that you are unbiased.

      • Joel D. Jackson:
        Leaking coal ash ponds cause little contamination of very small areas.
        As JB Goode explained in this thread here and emphasised in a post he addressed to you in this thread here, windfarms despoil immense areas.
        Coal provides most electricity for the world. Wind and solar provide trivial amounts and never will provide much.
        Richard

    • Max Sargent:
      How about including some pictures of agriculture and modern medicine which rely on the use of fossil fuels and without which life would return to being short, hard and brutal.
      Richard

      • Tell that to the inhabitants of El Hierro, who are the first island community to use 100% renewable power (wind + pumped hydro storage into volcanic craters with 700m height difference). They retain their diesel generators but haven’t had to use them at all since the last wind turbine was installed.

      • Pete – you are such a BS-er that, in the absence of a credible reference, I reject as improbable your comments about El Hierro.
        But even if your comments are true, pumped storage requires a unique and rare topography so is not a solution for wind power intermittency in the great majority of real-world cases.

      • Allan,
        Does that mean you are not capable of Googling El Hierro for yourself to see whether it is true or not?

      • No Pete – it means that he who alleges must prove – that is the standard, but it has not been upheld.
        Global warming alarmist have routinely misled the public with falsehoods for which there is NO credible evidence.
        The BIG LIE is tat is the warmists’ false claim that climate sensitivity to atmospheric CO2 is high, when in fact the evidence shows that sensitivity to increased CO2 is low-to-miniscule.
        ALL the trillions spent on the alleged global warming crisis has been wasted on a false alarm.
        Most of those trillions have been spent on worthless “green energy” schemes that are not green and provide little useful energy.
        These truths have been evident for decades.
        Until recently, our 2002 APEGA debate was published at
        http://www.apega.ca/members/publications/peggs/WEB11_02/kyoto_pt.htm
        We knew with confidence based on the evidence that global warming alarmism was technically false, extremist and wasteful.
        We clearly stated in our 2002 debate:
        On global warming:
        “Climate science does not support the theory of catastrophic human-made global warming – the alleged warming crisis does not exist.”
        On green energy:
        “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.”
        On real pollution:
        “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.”
        On squandering resources:
        “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.”
        I suggest that our four above statements are now demonstrably correct, within a high degree of confidence.
        The warmists have succeeded in scamming the public and greatly increasing the cost of energy, which has resulted in more winter deaths, especially among the elderly and the poor.
        When ignorant politicians fool with energy systems, real people suffer and die.
        Cheap, abundant, reliable energy is the mainstay of modern society – it IS that simple.
        Regards to all, Allan

      • European pumped storage potential sufficient for 80% renewables at least
        Allan,
        Assessment of the European potential for pumped hydropower energy storage
        Current European daily electricity consumption – around 9TWh. Energy efficiency reduces that, additional load (EV charging, heat pumps) increases it – assume total consumption unchanged in 2050 because the two effects balance.
        Assume 20% nuclear base load generation, 80% renewables generation.
        Assume 15% of total load can be shed on demand (for a suitable remuneration) by industrial demand response for up to a couple of weeks e.g. aluminium production is not time critical.
        Requirement for generation by energy storage when no wind or solar = 9 TWh x 0.8 x 0.85 = 6 TWh
        See table 12 on page 29 of the document. This gives two measures of the realisable pumped storage capacity – either 28 TWh or 79 TWh depending on the criteria used.
        So the European pumped storage hydro potential energy storage is capable of providing somewhere between 4.5 and 13 days of storage at reduced load.
        The higher figure is enough to avoid having to keep any backup CCGT generation. At the lower figure you would want to keep enough CCGT to generate 4 TWh per day. This needn’t be equipped with CCS (carbon capture and sequestration), because it will only be used once in a blue moon.
        Northern USA
        There’s plenty of pumped hydro potential in Canada, reachable from the Northern USA.
        You’ll have to work out other areas for yourself.

      • Climate Pete wrote

        European pumped storage potential sufficient for 80% renewables at least

        This ludicrous suggestion is so laughably wrong that of itself it would have been sufficient to discredit anything said by Climate Pete were it not for the fact that this BS-ing troll had already discredited itself in this thread.
        Richard

      • RE Pete’s silly claims about long-distance pumped storage:
        If long distances, huge costs and huge line losses were not real obstacles Pete, then your claims might be true.:
        And if frogs had wings, they would not have to bump around on their asses.

  48. Allan MacRae said

    He who alleges must prove that is the standard, but it has not been upheld.
    Here are examples from Allan of statements he has made in this thread with no backup, no links, no explanation.
    “pumped storage requires a unique and rare topography so is not a solution for wind power intermittency in the great majority of real-world cases.”
    (debunked for Europe by the EEC pumped hydro study above)
    “Wind power is mature technology it is unlikely to get much less expensive.”
    (no evidence. Hasn’t even looked for this key information in the DoE 2013 wind report provided)
    “Grid-connected offshore and onshore wind farms are both uneconomic and require life-of-project subsidies.”
    (One easy example to debunk this BS – Danish Horns Rev 3 offshore wind farm will get the 10.3 Eurocents contract power price only for 11 to 12 years but the expected lifetime is twice that).
    “Global warming alarmist have routinely misled the public with falsehoods for which there is NO credible evidence.”
    (pure opinion. No peer reviewed published paper cited. Lack of understanding of the vast bulk of published climate science)
    “The BIG LIE is tat is the warmists’ false claim that climate sensitivity to atmospheric CO2 is high, when in fact the evidence shows that sensitivity to increased CO2 is low-to-miniscule.”
    (pure opinion. No peer reviewed published paper cited. Lack of understanding of the vast bulk of published climate science)
    “ALL the trillions spent on the alleged global warming crisis has been wasted on a false alarm.”
    (pure opinion. No peer reviewed published paper cited. Lack of understanding of the vast bulk of published climate science)
    “Most of those trillions have been spent on worthless green energy schemes that are not green and provide little useful energy.”
    (pure opinion. No peer reviewed published paper cited. Lack of understanding of the vast bulk of published climate science)
    “Climate science does not support the theory of catastrophic human-made global warming – the alleged warming crisis does not exist.”
    (pure opinion. No peer reviewed published paper cited. Lack of understanding of the vast bulk of published climate science)
    “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.”
    (The recent G7 has stated they will completely eliminate fossil fuel use by 2100. Kyoto is old news)
    “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.”
    (pure opinion. Since Kyoto was a long time ago now, there should be plenty of evidence one way or another as to whether this has actually happened)
    “I suggest that our four above statements are now demonstrably correct, within a high degree of confidence.”
    (Prove it. Since Kyoto was a long time ago now, there should be plenty of evidence one way or another from studies as to whether this has actually happened)
    “The warmists have succeeded in scamming the public and greatly increasing the cost of energy, which has resulted in more winter deaths, especially among the elderly and the poor.”
    (No figures to back this up)
    “When ignorant politicians fool with energy systems, real people suffer and die.”
    (No figures to back this up)
    “Cheap, abundant, reliable energy is the mainstay of modern society it IS that simple.”
    (pure opinion)
    You hypocrite! It seems that you reserve the right to promote bullshit with no evidence whatsoever, but have a completely different set of rules for others who have a better understanding of energy and climate.

    • The BS-ing troll wrote

      The recent G7 has stated they will completely eliminate fossil fuel use by 2100. Kyoto is old news

      Any successor to the Kyoto Protocol was killed at Copenhagen in December 2009 so, yes, Kyoto is old news.
      And politicians proclaim their intention to not do something when they assert it will be achieved long after they have died of old age.
      Richard

  49. Sorry Pete – I’m done with you and your nonsense.
    There has been NO global warming for 18 years and counting. There is no global warming crisis.
    The trillions spent on ineffective green energy schemes/scams to “fight global warming”, now clearly a false alarm, have been completely wasted.
    Industry has relocated to China where even the worst forms of air, water and soil pollution are not controlled.
    Those wasted trillions could have been spent on providing clean water and sanitation systems for the third world, and about 50 million kids under the age of five could have been saved from horrible deaths.
    Concerning Excess Winter Deaths, our paper is here:
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2015/05/24/winters-not-summers-increase-mortality-and-stress-the-economy/
    I suggest, Pete, that your information is false and highly misleading – hysterical nonsense.

    • Allan,
      About the only indicators of twenty or so which shows no warming over 15 years are the UAH and RSS satellite data sets. The UAH 5.6 Lowere Tropospheric dataset showed healthy warming, so John Christie changed it so it measured temperatures higher up in the troposphere so surface temperatures have less of an impact on the readings. In this respect it is closer to RSS to which surface temperatures have always had a smaller contribution.
      See http://www.drroyspencer.com/2015/04/version-6-0-of-the-uah-temperature-dataset-released-new-lt-trend-0-11-cdecade/. In this Roy Spencer (his sidekick and underling) says :-

      [The new UAH 6.0 data set shows] lesser sensitivity of the new LT weighting function to direct surface emission by the land surface, which surface thermometer data suggests is warming more rapidly than the deep troposphere.

      It is obviously surface temperatures which determine evaporation rates and thus have the biggest bearing on drought conditions, not temperatures a few hundred metres up into the atmosphere. To that extent the new UAH 6.0 data set has been more or less relegated to a scientific curiosity of the lower atmosphere rather than a mainstream player in the efforts to measure surface temperatures. Like it or not, the surface temperature data sets are now the only game in town – and you know full well what they have been showing over the past 18 years.
      One source of data from which is it easy to calculate the net energy imbalance at the top of the ocean is the NOAA ocean heat content chart
      https://www.nodc.noaa.gov/OC5/3M_HEAT_CONTENT/heat_content2000m.png
      It shows an 11 x 10^22 J increase in ocean heat content between the pentadal averages between mid points of 1998 and 2012 (smack on the “pause” period). Dividing by the earth’s surface area an the number of seconds in this period gives a contribution from ocean heat 0-200m to the over all top of the atmosphere net energy imbalance of around +0.5 W / square metre.
      To be honest, who cares if the radiative forcing (net energy/power imbalance at the top of the atmosphere) is going partially into warming the surface or not, right now. It is the existence of the imbalance which defines the issue of global warming, and if the proportion of heat going into surface warming suddenly increases due to weather factors like El Ninos, then surface temperatures will soon catch up to where they were expected to be.

    • Allan MacRae: “I suggest, Pete, that your information is false and highly misleading – hysterical nonsense.”
      You certainly got that right.
      +100!

  50. First solar CEO does not care about renewal of the 30% ITC – he thinks solar will thrive without it now
    http://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/First-Solar-CEO-By-2017-Well-be-Under-1.00-Per-Watt-Fully-Installed?utm_source=Solar&utm_medium=Picture&utm_campaign=GTMDaily
    Jim Hughes, CEO of First Solar says the prices bid for all-inclusive utility solar PV now commonly are typically in the range of 5 to 6 US cents/kWh, but that bids of 4 to 5 US cents are starting to creep in. He thinks within 10 years solar pricing will be in the low 3 cent/kWh range. That is lower than the hedged price of natural gas for CCGT generation, according to Lazards V8 report.
    The tax credit goes down from 30% to 10% soon but Jim no longer believes the tax credit is needed for solar PV – he believes it is very competitive at 10% tax credit, and the additional tax credit of 20% will only take 18 months of cost reduction to absorb.
    He says by 2017 a solar PV utility-scale tracker system installed in the western US will have a fully inclusive price of $1 per watt. That’s panels plus inverters plus everything else. Last time I looked as US rooftop solar the all-in cost was over $3 per watt.
    He says a lot of businesses with large sites are interested in installing their own solar especially for things like data centres, because it locks in the power price at a fixed cost, making it more independent of market rates which can fluctuate and cause price uncertainty. Plus for data centres there’s an opportunity to do DC to DC direct feeds, rather than having to go into grid voltage AC, which makes the system more efficient and reduces costs of inverters etc with a 15% cost saving. He says companies are driven purely by the economics, not by climate change concerns.
    The key thing is really that he is putting his money where his mouth is and telling congress not to bother fighting over extending 30% tax credits further – solar doesn’t need them any more.

  51. Noise is only the tip of the iceberg and yes they get an extremely very generous free ride. I am positive that there should be serious inquiries in to those contracts. Looking from my angle I have a very strong doubt about “secret dealings” I wouldn’t say illegal but dubious for those orders for wind turbines and heavily subsidized wind farms. The governmental funds, not the public utility’s were unblocked only a few days before dissolving parliament. The ships were from my observation “extremely” fast to deliver the machines. There appears also to be an extensive use of third parties residing in fiscal paradises for a vast list of dealing and services.

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