Texas City Featured In Al Gore’s ‘Inconvenient Sequel’ Lost Millions In Its Green Energy Gamble, Plus reality denial from the BBC

From The Daily Caller

Millions In Its Green Energy Gamble

Michael Bastasch | Energy Editor                                                                      10:55 PM 12/18/2018 | Energy

The city of Georgetown, Texas, lost nearly $7 million this year on its green energy contracts.

  • Al Gore featured the city in his “Inconvenient Sequel” film, which was released in 2017.
  • Mayor Dale Ross said going green would save residents money, but now has cost them millions.

Former Vice President Al Gore hailed the city of Georgetown, Texas, for powering itself with only solar and wind energy, but now the city is losing millions on its green energy gamble.

Georgetown’s bet against fossil fuel prices cost the city-owned utility nearly $7 million this year, and prompted officials to look for a way out of their long-term contracts for solar and wind energy.

“It’s costing them big time,” vice president of research at the Texas Public Policy Foundation (TPPF), Bill Peacock, told The Daily Caller News Foundation in an interview. “This doesn’t appear to be the first time they’ve lost money, just the first time it was big enough to have to go public with it.”

Georgetown made national news after being featured in Gore’s film “An Inconvenient Sequel,” which was released in 2017. The film followed-up on Gore’s inaccurate 2006 film “An Inconvenient Truth.”

“I think Georgetown is already a trailblazer,” Gore said during his 2016 visit to learn about Georgetown’s plan to get 100 percent of their energy from wind and solar power. (RELATED: UN Climate Talks Cost Us $2 Billion. What Have We Gotten For Our Money?)

“And one thing that Georgetown demonstrates to other places that are just beginning to think about it is that the power supply is not only more affordable the cost is predictable for at least 25 years into the future and really beyond that,” Gore said.

Standing next to Gore when he made those remarks was Mayor Dale Ross, the town’s Republican part-time mayor. Smithsonian magazine called Ross the “unlikeliest hero of the green revolution.”

“This is a long-term pocketbook issue,” Ross said in August. “It’s a win for economics and a win for the environment.”

Ross said the decision was based on dollars and cents, not environmental concerns, but now the city is trying to get to renegotiate its long-term green energy contracts.

TheDCNF was scheduled to interview Ross on Saturday. The mayor canceled the phone interview, but did not respond to TheDCNF’s inquiry about rescheduling.

Since being featured in Gore’s film, other media outlets have asked if Georgetown is the “future” of U.S. cities. However, Peacock said Georgetown is becoming more of a cautionary tale.

“They went all-in on one thing. Anybody looking at this from a financial standpoint could have foreseen these problems,” Peacock said. “This doesn’t seem to be getting any better.”

TPPF is suing Georgetown for the pricing details of its long-term solar contracts. Energy rates are considered trade secrets under Texas law and must be sought with a government records request. (RELATED: Tone Deaf: Al Gore Calls For More Climate Policies As France Riots Against One)

Georgetown began its shift towards 100 percent wind and solar energy several years ago, and the city says it reached that goal in July after the Buckthorn solar plant went online. The city-owned utility contracts with Buckthorn and the Spinning Spur 3 wind farm for all its power needs.

Former U.S. Vice President Gore is interviewed at a screening for "An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power" in Los Angeles

Former U.S. Vice President Al Gore is interviewed at a screening for “An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power” in Los Angeles, California, U.S., July 25, 2017. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni.

Georgetown Utility Systems (GUS) contracted to buy wind and solar at fixed prices until 2035 and 2043, respectively. Georgetown is obligated to buy about twice as much power as it actually needs from green power plants. The city is first in Texas and second-largest in the U.S. to go 100 percent renewable.

The idea was that Georgetown would have enough green power to grow into at fixed prices, avoiding market volatility and what they saw as the rising costs of fossil fuels. In the meantime, Georgetown would sell any excess power back to Texas’ electricity market.

But energy prices plummeted in recent years, particularly natural gas prices, meaning the city lost money selling power back to the market. Georgetown Budget Manager Paul Diaz told city councilors in late November the utility had lost $6.84 million. City officials are looking for ways to make up the shortfall.

“GUS is in the process of opening negotiations with our current energy suppliers to adjust the terms of our contracts,” City Councilman Steve Fought wrote in an email to constituents.

“Additionally, we are working to change our management strategy for daily energy market operations,” Fought wrote in his November 26th email. “We also need to implement belt tightening measures in the electric department and shift funds to balance the GUS accounts.”

Georgetown Utility Systems’ energy costs were more than $23 million over budget in 2016 and 2017, according to Lisa Linowes, the founder of the anti-wind power group Wind Action.

Fought did not respond to TheDCNF’s request for comment. Representatives for Gore also did not respond to TheDCNF’s inquiry.

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103 thoughts on “Texas City Featured In Al Gore’s ‘Inconvenient Sequel’ Lost Millions In Its Green Energy Gamble, Plus reality denial from the BBC

      • Here’s a simple solution, contractually speaking.
        If their generation supplier should suffer generation losses due to say fire, they couldn’t fulfill their end of the contract to SUPPLY the energy. That would let Georgetown out of the contract and able to acquire less costly energy elsewhere.

      • This is some part infects every place Kaliforkna immigrants go. Nevada infected by 2 county’s Clark/Washoe. Rome-Sparta-Carthage central authority-power.

    • The city is looking for ways to make up the $6.84M loss due to their idiocy? Let’s all be adults here, OK? The city is going to GET the $$ from their TAXPAYING residents. Behold your “green dream”! … right up there with … “if you like your $2,500.00 Obamakkare savings … you can PAY your $2,500.00 increase to government health care”

  1. I wonder if they use Bitcoins as a modern and hardly traceable form of “payola” in green energy public utility deals.

    • That would be a supreme disaster. Their 2019FY budget projects their electric fund budget to purchase 53% of it’s power from outside sources. In the end, it’s just another special tax that mimics sales taxes but mostly without the exemption for businesses. Thus, it’s more like a sub-VAT tax to normal consumers.

      What will be remarkable is the voters will likely reward their elected officials who will never have to worry about the yellow vests. But one has to love the Greens, bless their heart, to impose wildly stupid plans based on out and out lies. The power of the Big Lie.

      • They should have checked out Ontario’s disasrous adoption of green energy before plodding ahead with their plan. As a matter of fact, Americans can save themselves a lot of money by looking North before jumping in on the latest enviro fad. With Trudeau at the helm, you can be sure that we’re in the process of trying stupid ideas before they catch on elsewhere. It’s called virtue signalling and we sort of specialize in it based on the bizarre belief that the rest of the world is looking to us for leadership.

  2. Now here is a story that we won’t be seeing on ABNBCBS, CNN or MSNBC. I expect that You Tube and Facebook will block any mention as well. Can’t have the pesky truth getting out there and messing with a good narrative.

  3. Puzzled here. 100% renewables? What are the backup arrangements when the wind doesn’t blow? I suspect fossil fuel energy is imported from their neighbours, under cover of financial darkness.

    Maybe I am just being cynical. False information abounds these days.

    • They’re on the grid, there’s no way they can tell what type of power the electrons in the wires came from. They just agreed to pay a higher price for the mix of power types actually being fed to their grid. Makes the whole thing even more stupid.

      • What Greg said. 🙂

        I haven’t read of any electrical blackouts happeing in Texas City so they are definitely being fed power from sources other than windmils and solar. Unless they have pumped storage that I don’t know about.

    • They are connected to the grid. I could not find stats on how much of the city’s total demand comes from the grid.

    • In general, when an organisation claims to be 100% powered by wind and solar, what they mean is that the total wind and solar energy they produce/buy equals or exceeds their total demand. When wind and solar are not matching demand they buy electricity from the grid, when wind and solar are exceeding demand they sell electricity to the grid.

      I am not aware of any significant organisation that runs on 100% wind and solar all the time.

      • They obviously must be reaching the “100%” through mitigation of their necessary fossil fuel use.

        They have emergency response vehicles. They repair potholes. They maintain the streets with tar to fill in the cracks. The tires on the cars don’t come from rubber trees.

        Now, if they are just talking about (electrical) energy, that’s a whole ‘nuther story.

        … just as much BS, but a different story.

    • Al didn’t lose any money.

      Speaking of Al: I caught the last half of what is apparently a new climate change special on National Geographic channel last night featuring Al Gore. It was full of the usual scaremongering and presented CAGW as being here and now and already affecting the way the Earth’s weather behaves.

      At one point in the show they had a question printed out on the screen: What percentage of scientists think climate change is real? And the answer was: 97 percent.

      The 97 percent lie. This is another example of how a lie, repeated often enough, becomes the “truth”. The 97 percent meme is CAGW propaganda and it is used in every Alarmist argument. To good effect apparently (except here on WUWT).

  4. Painful lesson for the citizens- might be worth the hurt to wake em up.
    mayor n councillors looking for new jobs come election time as a smart start?
    oh, after theyve had to answer some hard questions

    • Georgetown is a large suburb of Austin, Texas and is increasingly infected with the same mindset.

      We all communicate in two very different ways – sort of bilingual, its more of a factor of how much each person communicates and thinks in one form or another. The two forms are rational, which uses logic, facts and reason; the other is emotional.

      The people in this area are more on the emotional side of operating so thinks like “losing money”, “bad investment”, “unreliable” are confusing topics that require too much effort to contemplate and even more effort to rectify, so its far easier to just emote, complain then get back to bashing Trump.

      As we all have discovered here, climate and energy policy are almost purely in the hands of the emotional brigaide. Trained, like Pavlov’s dogs to think warm fuzzy thoughts about “renewable” and “sustainable” whatever. These idiots will end up blaming the solar/wind failure not on the success of the natural gas energy market (which Georgetown sits in the middle of), but on “Climate Change” or some other emotional trigger word that steers them back to docility on the whole matter.

      And thus the pols in Georgetown will be celebrated for caring – provided they keep repeating the trigger words that pacify the virtue signalers.

      • Georgetown, and the Austin area generally, has a fair number of California transplants. What they seem to have not learned is to avoid the reasons they left Calizuela in the first place.
        Voting for green politicians gets quite expensive, and will eventually crash the economy.

    • “I think Georgetown is already a trailblazer,”
      Sure…trail blazers in the same sense as the blazing birds that fly through the solar collector beams.

  5. Gore doing his worst Rodney Dangerfield impression.

    Or a carnival clown mannequin !

    or maybe a dodgy used car salesman

    I’ve never seen him so incredibly DOPEY and untrustworthy. !

  6. This is blatantly off-topic but I think y’all be interested in it anyway.(And Al Gore is so last century)
    The electrochem soc have sent me a note about a new battery technology from Honda – fluorine ion technology. Apparently it promises 10 x energy density of Li-ion , with no fire hazards .
    https://www.electrochem.org/redcat-blog/hondas-battery-breakthrough/?utm_source=Informz&utm_medium=Email&utm_campaign=ECS+Website

    Early days of course but it could be a game changer.

    • Ten times the density of lithium ion isn’t in the fire hazard range. That’s in the explosion hazard range. Sorry, but that’s just not believable

      • Questionable also because the article reads:
        “Honda says fluoride-ion batteries offer 10 times greater energy density, meaning more storage and range for electric vehicles, thanks to the low atomic weight of fluorine that makes fluoride-ion batteries’ increased performance possible.”
        hmm…
        If I recall Fluorine has an atomic number of 9, while Lithium sits at a mere 3. Lithium is the 3rd lightest element. How exactly does an atomic weight 3 times as large improve upon weight efficiency?

        • If I recall Fluorine has an atomic number of 9, while Lithium sits at a mere 3. Lithium is the 3rd lightest element. How exactly does an atomic weight 3 times as large improve upon weight efficiency?

          Making up numbers here for illustration purposes only:
          if storage X weighs 3 and gives 30 energy, that’s 10 energy per unit of weight
          if storage Y weighs 9 and gives 900 energy, that’s 100 energy per unit of weight

          100 per is more efficient than 10 by a factor of 10 – in fact you would need 10 times the weight to get the same amount of energy. IE a weight of 90 (3×30) for the “lighter” X to get the same energy as a weight of 9 (1×9) for the “heavier” Y for the same amount of energy.

          That said, I’ll believe the hype about fluoride-ion once I see it in action, not before than.

      • In my lifetime, I have heard about impending revolution in battery technology no less than 100 times. So far, it has never panned out. The closest thing to a revolution was the lithium ion battery. It is better for a lot of application than the older batteries, and can handle the typical random charging cycles we like to put them through, but I don’t think that was a revolution.

        With battery revolutions, I put that firmly in the “I’ll believe it when I see it” category.

        • Indeed, time and again, most of the hyped “impending revolutionary technology” turn out to be so much vaporware. No made how good they sound, even if they sound plausible, never believe the hype.

      • From the article:

        According to Left Lane News, chief scientist at the Honda Research Institute Christopher Brooks says, “Unlike Li-ion batteries, FIBs do not pose a safety risk due to overheating, and obtaining the source materials for FIBs creates considerably less environmental impact than the extraction process for lithium and cobalt.”

        Hmmm. I would like to see the performance characteristics of a car that is equipped with an FIB over an LIB. Hopefully, Honda didn’t get this technology from the MIB, lest we will all be mind wiped for having discovered technology from another planet.

  7. My guess is the city lost more than $30 million. It sounds like the $6.84 million loss was on just reselling the contracts, and they also had a $23 million negative budget variance. It’s possible that the $6.84 million is part of that budget variance, which appears to be over two years. But you can bet that the budget number was a LOT higher than it would have been if they hadn’t entered into these long-term contracts for high priced energy while gas prices were falling.

    I wonder if someone at a townhall meeting were to ask how much the city lost with the renewable energy strategy if the financial geniuses would be able to give them a correct number.

    • Does the loss get absorbed in the electricity rates to consumers I.e. higher rates or will citizens have to pay a tax levy?

      I am not understanding where the money lost will come from 🙁

      • One or the other (or a combination of both). Either the customers will have to pay it though higher rates, or the taxpayers will through higher taxes

  8. Georgetown Utility Systems (GUS) contracted to buy wind and solar at fixed prices until 2035 and 2043.

    The wind portion of Georgetown’s renewable supply comes from the Spinning Spur 3 wind farm, which was completed in 2015:

    The Project, located 50 miles west of Amarillo in Oldham County, commenced construction of its 97 Vestas V-100 2 MW wind turbines in October 2014 and feeds into the CREZ (Competitive Renewable Energy Zone) transmission infrastructure.

    So Georgetown Utility Systems apparently signed a 20-year fixed price contract, influenced in part no doubt by the doom-mongering of Al Gore and others. The good news for Georgetown is it is unlikely Spinning Spur 3 will still be selling power in 20 years and I doubt anyone is dumb enough to sign a contract obligating them to pay if they don’t get power in return. Unless above-market purchase mandates are enforced by state or federal regulations, the operating income on the facility won’t cover the maintenance costs to keep the turbines running. This is what happened with the original Kamaoa Wind Farm at South Point, Hawaii: it went into operation in 1986 but by 2006 the operator couldn’t keep the turbines running and the facility was shut down.

    Kamaoa Wind Farm consisted of 37 Mitsubishi 250-kilowatt wind turbines capable of generating up to 9.3 megawatts which are all disabled as of the end of 2008. These were old machines and it was not cost effective to keep these going.

    It was purchased in 2010 and the new operator was able to get some of the turbines running again by scavenging parts from dead ones. It was shut down for good in 2015 IIRC, but Hawaii went and built the new Pakini Nui wind farm a short distance away. The turbine blades were removed but the towers left standing for a few years afterwards. When I was there last year the towers had been dismantled and were rusting in piles inside the fence. The EIA’s levelized cost of power calculation for wind assumes a 30-year capital recovery period (same as they do for coal and gas). If the actual lifespan is shorter, the levelized cost figure for wind increases.

    Hawaii is an expensive power state because all fuel must be shipped in. The South Point location is pretty much ideal for wind power. So if a wind facility can’t be kept operating on its income in Hawaii, one in Texas is going to have an even tougher time.

    Sounds like they signed a 25-year contract for the solar power.

      • Well they had a small geothermal plant on the big island, but it had to be shut down and evacuated and and subsequently damaged in last year’s erruptions. See here.

        There are probably other geothermal plants on Oahu, but according to this, as of 2012 Hawaii as a whole gets 73% of their generation from oil; 15% from coal; just 3% from geothermal. And at $0.3398 / Kwh, they have the highest electricity price in the country. No doubt those proportions have changed somewhat in the last 6 years.

          • Thanks for that information Javert. My price figures were from a 2012 document so I thought I should check more recent information. According to this EIA page, 2018 Hawaii residential rates were $0.3229 / kWh (slightly less than the 2012 reference), so Germany Wins! Congratulations.

            The other good news for Hawaii is most residents are not dependent on either heat or air-conditioning, so residential power usage per capita is probably less than Germany. Electric power takes a much smaller bite out of the typical Hawaii resident’s budget compared with Germany. I’ll tell myself that next time I’m there: “everything sure is expensive here, but at least power is cheaper than Germany!” In Hawaii, that is called “the price of paradise”.

            And as far as I can tell, nobody freezes to death in Hawaii. The tropical climate is one factor often cited for the growth in the homeless population. So much so that some municipalities are funding one-way tickets back to the mainland.

            [Full disclosure: although I make fun of their obsession with wind turbines, I really like Hawaii. Beaches, Mai-Tai’s and incredibly beautiful sunsets. ]

    • The Statesman article clearly shows that Georgetown is not using 100% renewable energy. Georgetown “produces” more renewable energy than it consumes, implying they ‘borrow’ energy from the grid during times and “repay” it later. This option is offered to ordinary consumers by many electricity suppliers in Texas but is simply a monthly allocation of renewable energy. Power to choose.org

  9. I find that the people who claim to be experts on a topic are the ones who have the least experience in that topic. For instance, the people who have a crusade against Monsanto, pesticides, and herbicides are the people who have never once spent a day farming or gardening. These people live in a city all their life and never once tilled soil, used a hoe to de-weed a garden, or anything like that. Yet they insist on eating organic and tell others how crops should be grown. They do this because of capitalism, cheap energy, and the modern technology made possible by cheap energy they have do not have to work hard all day long. The result is that they need something to fill that time, and that means they think about how things should work.

    But here is the point relating to this article. Georgetown is a suburb of Austin, which means most of the people there do not have real world experience into what it takes to keep their way of life working. They do have a lot of free time thanks because modern technology makes life easy. So they think a simplistic switch to wind/solar will work. They have no real world experience, all the see is that ‘wind turbine produces x amount of energy’. That means what they don’t see is that a wind turbine’s energy is variable because of the nature of wind and thus not reliable. They don’t see the nuances because they don’t have that experience, and never will. All they see is ‘if wind turbine produces x amount of energy and we need 100x of that energy, than 100 wind turbines will meet our energy needs’. As if it were some kind of algebra equation.

    One of the things I am thankful for is my parents made sure I understood at an early age how important experience is. I now very clearly see the difference between wisdom and intelligence. You can be a dumb-dumb but very wise, and you can have a high IQ and be very well educated and be unwise. People who promote so-called green energy are intelligent and educated but not wise. We have far too many smart but unwise people today.

  10. “I think Georgetown is already a trailblazer,”

    indeed. Someone has to blaze down the wrong trails to let others know what not to do. Well done Georgetown, may others learn from your folly.

  11. Corpus Christi may be speeding up imports of parts of wind turbines by truck and ship and expanding completions north. Electron energy is used sooner with the available coastal wind and nuclear plant up the road, but it should be worth watching. Available renewable generated electricity is advertised.

    Also some people are fleeing the Austin area, numbers also worth checking.

  12. Errrrrr, how to put this..
    No, ‘these’
    3 things

    Point 1. What we have going on here is a epic Ad-Hominem attack on the hapless mayor. And The Gorical of course. Same arguments (below) apply to both.

    Point 2. (1) may actually be justified – the guy is monstrously overweight,
    i.e. He is hopelessly addicted to eating sugar and thus he is a physical and mental train-wreck.

    But it is not HIS fault, the Ad-Hom is unjustified and out-of-order for 3 reasons:
    2.1= Nothing else to eat
    2.2= He is stressed and/or lonely
    2.3= Doctors have (mistakenly) told him it was a good thing to do

    Point 3. $7 million
    In a city population of 70,000 is $100 per head?

    Recently we heard from one of our contributors about a road-trip he’d been on.
    Stopped somewhere for ‘A Bite To Eat’ It ran to $80 per head.
    $80 for one single meal in a roadside cafe=
    No Problemo, No hassle, That’s just how it is. Loose change. Pocket money

    Yet we learn here that $100 per year is going to be the end of civilisation as we know it

    The concern about the money, the ‘poor’ people and the energy supply is utterly fake – the only reason for this essay is Point 1 above = to pick a fight and brag about yourself.
    And certainly not least, a way to get the butchers of civilisation involved= The Lawyers

    Too many rats.
    Switch off the internet. The guy who invented it damn near said as much recently.

    • Your point 3 is deeply flawed. (your points 1 & 2 are just nonsensical musings that mean nothing, so I have no comment on those)

      a one-time splurge of $80 per head (where the heck did he eat? and what did he eat? that’s excessively high for one meal. I’ve never spent that much for one meal in my entire life and I’ve been to some nice restaurants in my time) by one individual who is wealthy enough to afford it does not equate to 70,000 individuals being equally flush with cash. And even if they all were, why should they be forced to pay that much extra when they don’t need to?

      The guy who invented it damn near said as much recently

      if you are referring to Gore, he never claimed to have invented it. just ask snopes
      https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/internet-of-lies/

    • No, actually I will comment about your points 1 & 2 because such nonsense needs to be called out.

      What we have going on here is a epic Ad-Hominem attack on the hapless mayor

      in the immortal words of Inigo Montoya “You keep using that word, I don’t think it means what you think it means”. Nowhere it the article is there an “ad-hominem attack” on the mayor (or the Gorical). Pointing out verifiable facts (such as the town losing money to the tune of $7 million) is not an ad-hominem. The only ad-hominem on either of them are in your own posting where you attack Gore’s weight. But if you think the article contains any ad-hominem there then here’s your chance to prove it by providing specific quotes from the article that you think are an “ad-hominem attack”.

      • Number 2 seems to be his standard rant that refined sugar being responsible for most of the bad things in the world.

          • I expect most enamel loss is from overbrushing, actually, especially when done too soon after eating. Acidic foods temporarily soften enamel and make it more vulnerable to abrading. Chronic lack of saliva (dry mouth) will also contribute.

            I’d wait at least a half hour after eating before doing any tooth cleaning, and chew gum in the meantime to promote saliva production.

    • Your numbers are wrong. Pop of Georgetown, TX is 59,400. there are 22k people working in that town. So triple the average price to 300plus per employee and you have $300/worker additional cost for electricity. Just sayin’.

      • your numbers are out of date:
        Pop of Georgetown, TX:
        47,400 (in 2010 census est.)
        67,140 (in 2016 census est.)
        and currently Georgetown, Texas’s estimated population is 70,685 according to the most recent United States census estimates (according to http://worldpopulationreview.com/us-cities/georgetown-tx-population/ )

        Your number appears to be the population from around 2014 (again according to the world population site), so Peta’s number is actually close enough to the current number as far as I can tell, about the only thing he got right in his post.

    • I don’t give a hot about Gore’s shape.

      Its the GORMLESS IDIOT expression on his face that makes me laugh. !!

  13. Georgetown has been bitten by the same faulty thinking that killed Solyndra. Both believed that the price of a product would only go up, so they hedged their bets by assuming that prices would stay the same or increase. In the case of Solyndra, their business plan was based on the price of silicon remaining high or going higher. This mistaken assumption lead Solyndra to believe that their expensive CIGS solar systems would remain cost competitive with silicon PV systems. As soon as silicon prices dropped Solyndra could not sell their CIGS systems. I checked their website before they took it down. Solyndra had zero external sales. The only “customer” listed on their website was their European distributor who built a test system.

    Georgetown assumed that fossil fuel energy prices would only go up. This lead them to be greedy and lock in the purchase of 100% more wind and solar energy than GUS needed so that they could earn money selling the power back to the grid. When the fossil fuel energy costs dropped, Georgetown was hit by a double whammy. Not only was GUS paying more per KWh than they would have paid for regular grid power, they also had to sell back the extra 100% of the wind and solar power to the grid at a loss.

    Essentially Georgetown bought a leveraged futures contract for their power. The drop in energy prices has hit Georgetown with a margin call and they will have to pay for their financial mistake until energy prices dramatically increase. These two green driven failures show that politicians from both sides of the aisle can (and will) make bad financial decisions when the have succumb to green madness.

    • Agreed. Long-term fixed-price contracts are always a gamble. If you guess right you can win big; on the other hand you can lose your shirt. A purchase contract signed on the assumption you can predict prices 20 years into the future is probably unwise unless it offers a very substantial discount over current prices.

      My family was on the losing side of just such a deal — it took us 35 years to regain control of a major asset we leased for (what is now) a pittance on the assumption the market would remain relatively flat. It didn’t and others profited from our short-sightedness.

  14. I wonder if the town was sold a bag of goods about how much electricity would be produce and future maintenance cost of going 100% renewable?

  15. “Since being featured in Gore’s film, other media outlets have asked if Georgetown is the “future” of U.S. cities. ”

    It is, just not in the way Gore envisioned.

  16. I wonder what commission arrangements Gore or his nominees have in inducing governments and companies to squander money on higher cost energy sources that have no benefit to the citizens or stockholders?

    • Gore and a friend manage a HUGE investment firm: Generation Investment Management. They cater to HUGE institutional investors who want to have a green portfolio. This includes the BBC; yes, the BBC has ALL pension obligations tied up in green energy being economically viable. This also includes a lot of governmental entities that have “committed” to green investing.

      This is all genius. If you get most countries to commit to an international treaty that they will manage carbon emissions, and ratchet them down regularly, then those countries HAVE to invest in greening their economic base. On top of that, as you are asking them to commit to long-term energy reduction efforts, you also entice them to “get in on the ground floor” and invest in the industries – the green industries -they are committing their country to invest in bigly.

      And, just how to invest in order to “get in on the ground floor” as this green industry gets under-way?

      Well, lookie here – right over here, we happen to have an investment management firm that does exactly that. Headed by – guess who – Al Gore. If Gore and his partner buddy make .01% a year managing these funds, then they are incredibly stinking rich, with nothing but blue skies ahead.

      Go check out large/institutional investor green investment management firm – this is no conspiracy theory; this is how Al Gore makes money…
      https://www.generationim.com/

  17. Famous last words…
    “This is a long-term pocketbook issue,” Ross said in August. “It’s a win for economics and a win for the environment.”

    Is this another example of the “Gore Effect”? 😉

  18. Georgetown Utility Systems’ energy costs were more than $23 million over budget in 2016 and 2017, according to Lisa Linowes, the founder of the anti-wind power group Wind Action.

    $23 million over budget on $71 million in projected revenue; 32% over budget. That’s a very big deal.

  19. ”The city of Georgetown, Texas, lost nearly $7 million this year on its green energy contracts.”…….Wonder how long it will be before South Australia follows suit. Only a matter of time before the battery goes flat and the s**t hits the fan.

    • Apparently the SA battery is making heaps of money for the operators..

      .. mainly because it keeps operating “very often” to stabilise the frequency.

      The more it earns, the closer the system is to collapse.

      I pointed out this issue to a wind turbine lover who was bragging about how often it was working…

      .. he didn’t seem to comprehend the issue 😉

  20. It is really nice that they have solar energy at night to run those lights.
    I have always wondered how they do that.

  21. Pay attention to the pockets that the $7 million landed in and you will have a better understanding of what is really going on here. This is a global fleecing on an enormous scale.

    • With a 20-year fixed-price contract, you win in some years and you lose in some years. It is amusing that they lost $7 million in 2018, but is too early to declare it the end of the story.

  22. Myth, not renewable energy, generates Georgetown’s buzz.
    By Cutter González| August 2, 2018…From Texas Public Policy Foundation.
    …Georgetown’s mix of wind and solar power is a 50/50 blend, generated from a solar plant in West Texas and a wind plant in the Panhandle, according to the city’s website. So, what if clouds blanket the sky and the wind stills when demand crosses the threshold of supply?…
    Well, the lights will stay on, because the Texas grid operator, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, will ensure power is available to meet demand. But ERCOT makes no guarantee of 100 percent renewable sourcing and, as electrons don’t have fingerprints, Georgetown won’t be able to guarantee that its electricity is from renewables. In fact, its energy mix would combine all sources known to the Texas grid….For starters, even though renewable energy’s reliability issues are mitigated by the existence of dispatchable energy sources such as coal and natural gas, the system is only kept afloat by citizens being forced to pay for the backup. And the greater renewable energy use grows, the more expensive and unsustainable the system becomes….

    Note that Georgetown has a 2018 population of some 70,000 and even a blimp of a town/city of such modest size cannot make it’s renewable regrettable power needs function without fossil fuel back up for those 70,000 people.
    It is beyond pathetic.

  23. As I read this from my breakfast table, and watch the snow fall outside, I find this story quite dispiriting. It is dispiriting because no one involved in this will learn a thing from it. Probably the citizens of Georgetown are working on rationalizations, because to admit this didn’t work out so well would injure their self image. Once they’ve fully rationalized the episode, they will vote for same a second time. The city management is working on hiding as much of the story as possible, because that’s what elected government does. Al Gore has gotten the tiny bit of publicity out of this he needed (perhaps made some money through his management company) and has moved on. The anti wind-turbine people will try to publicize this without much effect because there are many ways to make the story murky, and the American public can’t follow murky stories. In other words, everyone will simply fortify the positions they had beforehand.

    Gore’s family made a lot of money pocketing tobacco support payments on tobacco crops they didn’t actively farm. They made money on a product that was generally bad for people, and which was subsidized with public money. Gore current runs the same sort of rent-seeking operation today, and has gotten far wealthier through it than his father could have ever imagined.

    • I would hope we could learn something from it, because some day we’ll have the technology, either through batteries or something else, that will ease the intermittency problem. And, some day, we’ll run out of fossil fuels. And, some day, we probably will have to get serious about CO2 emissions.

      Fossil fuels, as a cheap source of abundant energy, have served us beautifully, but we shouldn’t delude ourselves about their being the ultimate answer to powering the planet. We need renewables and we need to solve the problems that are attendant with them. It doesn’t look like we can solve them with the technology we have now. But their energy source is free, and that ultimately will become a huge advantage.

  24. Fossil fuels, as a cheap source of abundant energy, have served us beautifully, but we shouldn’t delude ourselves about their being the ultimate answer to powering the planet. We need renewables…

    We need nuclear, which is probably as close to the ultimate answer to powering the planet as possible.

    • CapitalistRoader. Well you’re right. I’ve looked at nuclear as a renewable. In any event we need it bad.

  25. 100% renewal?

    It’s late afternoon in August in the humid Ausin suburb of Georgetown, TX. Government employees are leaving their air conditioned offices, going home, and turning down the thermostats in their Georgetown homes.

    Meanwhile in Pecos County, TX the solar angle is 3 hours beyond direct normal angles to the single-tilt tracker at the Buckhorn solar plant. Output is dropping quickly.

    In Oldham County, it is late August, late afternoon, and wind speeds have dropped well below the 13 mph required to turn a commercial wind turbine.

    So where does the power come from now to cool our liberal friends through the evening in Georgetown? Thank god for coal, natural gas and nukes.

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