100 Percent Renewable Cities – Is the Mayor of Porkopolis Smarter than a 5th Grader?

Cincinnati, aptly the home of the Flying Pig Marathon, and formerly known as Porkopolis, has been the 100th city to fight climate change by pledging to be powered 100% by renewable energy. Chances of success are likely to be high, according to the mayor. As a former Cincy resident who knows the climate for wind and solar, I say, in a pig’s eye. BTW if you’ve never had it, and want to try something truly unique, try this Cincinnati Chili mix.  – Anthony


By Steve Goreham

Mayors in more than 100 US cities have announced plans to transition their electrical power systems to 100 percent renewable by 2050. They propose replacement of traditional coal, natural gas, and nuclear generating stations with wind, solar, and wood-fired stations. But none of these mayors has a plausible idea of how to meet their commitment.

In December, Cincinnati became the one-hundredth US city to commit to 100 percent electricity from renewable sources, with a target to achieve this goal by 2035. Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley stated, “It has become clear that cities will lead the global effort to fight climate change, and Cincinnati is on the front lines.” Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson also pledged to reach 100 percent renewable electricity by 2050 as part of the city’s 2018 Climate Action Plan.

But these announcements appear to be a folk tale worthy of the Brothers Grimm.

In 2018, renewables provided less than 3 percent of Ohio’s electricity, which came 47 percent from coal, 35 percent from natural gas, and 15 percent from nuclear generators. Mayors Cranley and Jackson appear to have failed to consider the cost or scale of their energy change commitments.

As part of the effort, the Ohio Power Siting Board approved the Icebreaker Wind Facility last July. The Icebreaker project would initially construct six 3.5-gigawatt wind turbines in Lake Erie, ten miles off the coast of Cleveland, at an estimated cost of $126 million. The project would annually produce only about 75 gigawatt-hours of electricity, but plans call for an expansion to over 1,000 offshore wind towers.

Renewable energy is fashionable, but also expensive. The Icebreaker wind turbines cost $21 million each, or about six times the US market price for wind turbines, which is about $1 million per megawatt. The cost for expansion to 1,000 turbines would approach $20 billion. These renewable system costs will be in addition to existing power generation plants, 90 percent of which must be maintained to provide security of electricity supply when the wind doesn’t blow and the sun doesn’t shine.

In 2017, Ohio residents consumed 119,000 gigawatt-hours of electrical power. If completed, the 1,000 wind turbines of the expanded $20 billion Icebreaker project would deliver about 12,000 gigawatt-hours, or only about 10 percent of Ohio’s electricity need.

Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey and St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter pledged their cities to 100 percent renewables by 2030. Major wind system build-outs during the last five years boosted Minnesota to the eighth-leading wind energy state in the US. Renewables now provide about 27 percent of the state’s electricity. But Minnesota residents are paying for it. Over the last nine years, Minnesota power prices increased 34 percent, compared to the US average price rise of 7 percent.

In Wisconsin, Madison Mayor Paul Soglin announced last July the city’s commitment to 100 percent renewable electricity by 2050. But Wisconsin is not exactly the sun belt. Traditional generating stations provide 92 percent of the state’s electrical power and Wisconsin is a poor location for both wind and solar.

Not to be deterred, the City of Madison announced in 2017, a contract for five “utility-scale” solar arrays that would deliver 20 megawatt-hours of electricity per year. But Wisconsin consumes 65,000 gigawatt-hours of electricity each year. More than thirty thousand such “utility-scale” solar projects would be needed to supply just one percent of Wisconsin’s electricity.

City officials in Atlanta pledged to reach 100 percent renewables by 2035, but have been honest about the fact that they don’t know how to do it. Only about 6 percent of Atlanta’s electricity comes from renewable sources, about the same amount as the state of Georgia. So, Atlanta proposes purchasing large amounts of renewable energy credits from wind and solar generators in other states, so that they can claim their green energy status.

Energy does not have color. No one can tell whether the electricity from their wall outlet is green or provided by a coal-fired plant. Purchasing renewable credits from other locations is the slight-of-hand method that allows city mayors to claim 100 percent renewable status.

Maybe these mayors have learned a way to spin climate change straw into gold. Cincinnati, Cleveland, Minneapolis, St. Paul, Atlanta, and several other cities will receive $2.5 million grants from the Bloomberg Philanthropies group of billionaire Michael Bloomberg for their efforts to “fight climate change.” Unfortunatly, these grants will only be a drop in the bucket compared to the billions in additional electricity costs that citizens will pay for renewable electricity programs.

California is the center of the 100-percent-renewables fable. More than 30 California cities have committed to 100 percent renewable electricity, including San Diego, San Francisco, and San Jose, as well as the state of California itself. The state is doing a great job of boosting electricity prices. According to the US Department of Energy, California 2017 residental electricity prices were 18.2 cents per kilowatt-hour, about 50 percent higher than any other state in the West. Look for California rates to double in the next two decades, driven by efforts to achieve high penetration of renewables.

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So is your mayor smarter than a fifth grader? When it comes to energy policy, maybe not.


Originally published in The Western Journal. Republished here at the request of the author.

Steve Goreham is a speaker on the environment, business, and public policy and author of the book Outside the Green Box: Rethinking Sustainable Development.


Of course, no discussion of Cincinnati and animals flying can be complete without WKRP’s Turkey Drop, where their competing radio station had the call letters WPIG. I’ll just leave this here.

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135 thoughts on “100 Percent Renewable Cities – Is the Mayor of Porkopolis Smarter than a 5th Grader?

    • You are correct. The writer (Steve Gorham) is so ignorant of the basic technology that he can’t spot obvious errors in his writings.

      3.5 MW turbines, not uncommon.
      6 turbines x 3.5MW/turbine x 24hrs x 365days x 30% duty factor = 55 GW-hrs per annum.

      To get to 75 GW-hrs per annum, you have to assume a 41% duty factor. Probably far too high given that in strong winds (gale force) and heavy icing conditions (winter when you most need electricity), the turbines will have to be feathered.

      Assume at a full production capacity in an ideal 20-25 mph winds the six turbines would produce their name-plate of 21 MW of power for the grid. On a cold winter night, a city like Cleveland’s size (a population of about 400,000) probably consumes a reliable 400 MW (at a MW per 1,000 people, which includes their homes plus their offices-stores-theaters, businesses, government offices, and external civic lighting needs. Typically 1 MW as a RoT can supply 1,000 homes. But a city is far more than just homes). SO those 6 turbines would produce about 5% of Cleveland’s current needs if they were turning in optimal wind loads. And Cleveland’s consumption of electricity would increase dramatically if public transportation, home heating, and personal vehicles eliminated fossil fuels and went all-electric (it would more than triple current demand at night time).

      At $126 million for those 6 turbines and spreading just the construction cost out over 10 years, and assuming about 100,000 homes in Cleveland, then that is about an additional $126 to the home owners annual bill for just 5% of their electricity from those turbines. If the Greenies wanted get to 100% theoretical supply for Cleveland’s homes, it would be about 20 x $126 = $2,500 additional per year per household for their virtue signalling nirvana. And then since wind is intermittent, there would still have to be back-up supplies, or purchases on the spot market for wind electricity short-falls. Spot market prices for electricity can easily reach 10 fold average whole-contract prices. These periods of spot market electricity purchases would easily raise the average cost per KWh-hr for Cleveland from about 11.4 cents/KW-hr to well over 20 cents.
      source: https://www.electricitylocal.com/states/ohio/cleveland/

      So the average Cleveland home owner’ electricity bill of $250/month would increase probably by $300-$400 month to at least the $600/month level to get to 100% renewable claims. At 5% levels, it would probably increase by about $12 month, with nothing to show for it but 6 turbines out in the Lake marring the views.

      • The Icebreaker project would initially construct six 3.5-gigawatt wind turbines in Lake Erie, ten miles off the coast of Cleveland, at an estimated cost of $126 million. The project would annually produce only about 75 gigawatt-hours of electricity, but plans call for an expansion to over 1,000 offshore wind towers

        That works out to $20M per turbine and the city plans 1000 more? Where will the city council squander the $20B needed for the fiasco?
        This would be one project that wouldn’t be able to claim “Economy of Scale”

      • Modern wind turbines are in the 5 to 9 MW range… and taller.

        There are many US states with wind capacity factors 29% and upward… in the central US there are 4 with 39 to 40+ capacity.

        and of course it won’t just be wind alone – there will be solar too, with storage for domestic users.

        • “Modern wind turbines are in the 5 to 9 MW range” Now lets adjust the cost per turbine accordingly and see if it changes the per MWhr math.

          “there will be solar too, with storage for domestic users” Unless there is a financial incentive, why would anybody get into the energy storage business? There is a perfectly good grid at my door step, available for pennies per kWhr, that already “stores” all the energy I could ever want? Unless you can completely eliminate the grid connection, it’s silly to pay for both.

        • OMG! 29% capacity factor! That’s just great, griffy. Storage too! Who knew? That must be great too.

          I have some of this magic elixer to sell you….

        • Grif, the sizing of the 3.5 MW turbines is likely constrained by several factors.
          A big one is how many birds you are going to kill.
          The Large 150 meter diameter rotors of 5 x 6 MW Block Island Farm (rotor disc height above water = 600 feet) if installed in the Great Lakes area would reach into the Duck and Geese flyways at 500 feet above the water.

          But then Liberals will allow killing whatever birds are necessary for their religion.

      • Concerning the Great Lakes proposed nightmare.

        Never considered in any of this is that there is zero floating or shore infrastructure to install or maintain these expensive fragile toys. They will be a hazard to navigation and there will be huge exclusion zones to boaters. These will need to be maintained by ever more vigilant water cops. The stated life of these never considers the failure rate of the mechanical parts or that replacement of these items on land exceeds the value of the generated power. Now add the cost of maintaining at sea.

        All of this is subsidized but the subsidies are not counted in the metrics.

        If I proposed a net looser project requiring the upset of of acres of sensitive Great Lakes bottom and adding a marine component of puking dirty diesel burning work boats and the possibility of toxic spills, should I get a permit?

  1. The beauty of taxation…

    Statists never fail to defend the indefensible. This is the natural, unavoidable, 100% reliable end of the state. It must always deteriorate into tyranny since the foundation is theft.

    Steal others money, spend it as you wish. What could go wrong?
    The only sure bet outside of death. The state will eventually destroy the society that built it, and be responsible for the deaths of a significant percentage of it’s population. One hell of a paradox.

    We seriously need to all stop paying all taxes until the government shrinks back to pre 1913 saturation.
    All those government workers? To friggin bad. They are almost all lazy, worthless losers who can’t bear the insecurity of accountability in the real world.

  2. If you start with a 100 wind turbines and use all the energy from them to build wind turbines you will run out of them. They do not create enough energy to replicate themselves.

    • Yup. Reality may seem tough, but ignoring reality is just pathetic.

      Pathetic as no one has the guts to speak the truth.

      if Google and others had led the way toward a wholesale adoption of renewable energy, that switch would not have resulted in significant reductions of carbon dioxide emissions

      The problem situation is worst than just producing sufficient energy to build the wind farm.

      Continually varying power output from a wind farm (power output is at the cube of wind speed, wind farms output can and does vary by 30% in 20 minutes) forces other power sources (mostly single pass natural gas power plants which are 20% less efficient than combined cycle natural gas power plants that produce steam form the waste heat and require 10 hours to start) to vary which in addition to the increase in long distance transmission reduces grid efficient by 5% to 10%.

      In Germany the idiots added more and more variable energy forcing the shutdown of combined cycle power plants.

      There has an Oxford professor who calculated the pluses and minuses to determine the true net CO2 reduction benefit of wind and sun gathering. His conclusion in his peer reviewed paper has the same as the google engineers.http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/11/22/shocker-top-google-engineers-say-renewable-energy-simply-wont-work/

      The key problem appears to be that the cost of manufacturing the components of the renewable power facilities is far too close to the total recoverable energy – the facilities never, or just barely, produce enough energy to balance the budget of what was consumed in their construction. This leads to a runaway cycle of constructing more and more renewable plants simply to produce the energy required to manufacture and maintain renewable energy plants – an obvious practical absurdity.

      A research effort by Google corporation to make renewable energy viable has been a complete failure, according to the scientists who led the programme. After 4 years of effort, their conclusion is that renewable energy “simply won’t work”.

      http://spectrum.ieee.org/energy/renewables/what-it-would-really-take-to-reverse-climate-change

      As we reflected on the project, we came to the conclusion that even if Google and others had led the way toward a wholesale adoption of renewable energy, that switch would not have resulted in significant reductions of carbon dioxide emissions

      http://www.theregister.co.uk/2014/11/21/renewable_energy_simply_wont_work_google_renewables_engineers/

      • “Reality may seem tough, but ignoring reality is just pathetic. Pathetic as no one has the guts to speak the truth.”

        Politicians in general have trouble with truth-telling, but Democrats specifically are lying any time their mouths are moving or they are writing something. In case it wasn’t obvious, here’s what a interwebs searchy thingy shows…

        Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley – Democrat
        Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson – Democrat
        Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey – Democratic-Farmer-Labor
        St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter – Democratic-Farmer-Labor
        Madison Mayor Paul Soglin – Democrat
        Atlanta City Council – Democrat

        Why are voters such idiots to keep falling for this sh!#?

  3. Presumably they will cut all links to the rest of the USA power network so as not to take Fossil fuel or nuclear generated electricity.

    • It’s going to work sort of like an investment scheme. 20,000% of the renewable energy generated will be sold to the cities/investors. And since you can’t have 20,000% of something, the scheme will need to fail, and it will be said that there wasn’t enough investment in the first place for the project to work.

      • Robert, I had a similar thought.
        Let’s assume that Wind/solar accounts for only a single digit % of the US needs.
        If hundreds of cities follow Cincinnati’s plan (they hope to be an “example”) won’t the US quickly run out of available “renewable credits”?
        As they get more scarce, won’t the cost of those credits rise and start to bankrupt those cities?

        The only ones to gain would be Al Gore (and Enron, if they hadn’t been busted.)

    • Yeah, they don’t tell you they aren’t disconnecting from the regular, fossil fueled electric grid, but they imply they are, and are going to supply themselves wholly with wind and solar. It’s a lie. These people are living a lie and want the rest of us to live it, too.

      None of these mayors will succeed in running their cities with 100 percent renewables. It’s a bad joke. They should look to Georgetown, Texas. Their mayor made the same claims as these mayors. Georgetown’s mayor has already had to eat his words because of the huge cost overruns that came about. That day is coming for the rest of these mayors, too.

      • Definitely one of the first requirements for any city to claim 100% renewable energy supply is to require all generation take place within city limits, and that “City Limits” lines must be contiguous.

      • The scam I’ve seen is 100% “net” green energy. They sell excess production, or if necessary pay for the excess to be taken, as an offset to the conventional power generation they buy when the “green” energy falls short. It’s an accounting scam to mask the need for backup power generation. Of course those trapped in a location running such a scam pay higher electric rates, and suffer 3rd world grid reliability if it goes far enough.

        • ” It’s an accounting scam to mask the need for backup power generation.”

          Exactly!

          I’ll be impressed by the first mayor that says his city is going 100 percent off the existing electrical grid and will only operate on windmills and solar.

          We are dealing with a lot of dishonest people when it comes to CAGW hype. The “100 percent renewable” claims are just more dishonesty.

  4. Quite possibly that Cincinnati Chili is quite delicious. But as a boy from New Mexico, where we take our chile very serious, we consider Chile a vegetable and not a spice. The listed ingredients don’t even list chile as an ingredient. Their energy plan along with the chili could be described by the former Wendy’s hawker as, “Where’s the Beef?”

    • I like Cincinnati style chili but it’s not anything like actual chili. It’s more like a Greek spaghetti sauce. It’s typically served over spaghetti with shredded mild cheddar.

      • I say that in all seriousness. There probably isn’t a better example of the current zeitgeist than fluoridated municipal water supplies.

        It’s one of those topics that the establishment (for lack of a better term) has managed to pajoratize into a “conspiracy theory” and now if you question the benefits and mention the risks of it, the NPCs look at you like you just claimed to have discovered bigfoot. The wiki page is even locked down on the topic and it’s impossible to even link to something like https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/news/features/fluoride-childrens-health-grandjean-choi/ or
        https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/products/databriefs/db53.htm
        without it being quickly removed.
        The American Dental Association promotes the practice, yet they admit that fluoridated water does not work topically and instead is systemic. First of all, I know how these organizations work and their promotion likely doesn’t represent the actual opinion of dentists, and secondly, if it’s systemic then why is a dental association promoting it in the first place?

        There is no difference in the rate of reduction in dental caries in places that fluoridate their water vs places that do not. Fluorosis is on the rise (the most obvious effect), and so are diseases related to plaque buildup inside or outside of the brain -you think purposely ingesting the most electronegative element that loves to take the place of calcium is a bad idea? This replacement of calcium also causes skeletal fluorosis, leading to osteoporosis.

        But fluoride is naturally occuring in the environment and you are exposed to more of it naturally than any city puts in their tap water the NPCs say. Exactly, putting fluoride in tap water doesn’t remove you from these natural sources either, some of which were already high enough to contribute to these diseases BEFORE purposely fluoridating water, so what do they think will happen when adding these sources together? Drink a large glass of ice tea today? You very likely ingested way over your limit of fluoride. Drink tea, eat shellfish, and live in an area with fluoride air pollution, which contributes to its levels in the soil and water (in turn in you vegetables)? You’re very slowly being poisoned.

        • And I’ll add one more thing to drive this point home. The fluoride in toothpaste doesn’t work by improving crystallization of your enamel – “strengthening” your teeth as the commercials claim. Fluoridated toothpaste works because it IS toxic, probably the most toxic thing in your home by volume. It does a very good job in killing all the microbes in your mouth that cause cavities.

          • Stop spreading pseudojunk the effects of fluoride and experiments are well recorded and reproduced. It has 3 effects it has antibacterial properties (you agree on that one), it increases tooth remineralization and finally it changes part of the tooth remineralization from hydroxyapatite and carbonated hydroxyapatite to fluorapatite which is actually harder.

            So this is the substance of interest
            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fluorapatite

            So the claim it strengthens teeth is actually valid.

            If you want to argue that then show studies that have teeth of people who drink water with fluoridation that have no fluorapatite in there teeth to prove it.

    • High Fructose Corn Syrup also. Dextrose as well. My own personal experience is it creates resistance in the electrical circuits of the brain and body and can cause all kinds of nastiness to happen. OK, Fluoride is nasty enough on it’s own.

  5. Pretty hilarious. I went to college at the university of Dayton. We did a wind power study for the air force. We came to the conclusion that the diesel generators that they were using at their remote locations were more economical to run, and didn’t stop when the wind died. That test windmill really made a racket and I was glad when it was dismantled. Even more funny Cincinnati gets a lot of it’s power from the coal fired Stuart power plant. It was originally slated to be a nuclear plant but somewhere along the way it was made into a coal plant.

  6. Green advisers: “Dr. Evil, we have devised the ultimate ponzi scheme to convince voters to vote for candidates who support 100% renewable energy!”

    Dr. Evil: “Excellent!”

    Green advisers: “This is our plan. We will get a few democratic-run states to legislate only 100% renewable energy, Those will draw dispatchable, hydrocarbon-generated power from other states when their unreliable, renewable energy can’t produce energy. Then through science-via-press-release, we will create the impression that because100% renewable energy is possible in that state, it is possible in every state.”

    Dr. Evil: ” Excellent! We must keep the plebs from realizing that if every state adopts a 100% energy policy, then the whole system will collapse because unreliable power cannot keep modern society running.”

    • The Morons that run the BUD breweries ( AMBEV ) claim they are Wind-Powered–see the commercial.
      The Budweiser Brand will go the way of other sewer piss beer like Schmidt’s, Ballantine, etc.

      • InBev. A case study in how not to run a company. AB was taken over by Brazilians several years ago. It’s been a fascinating study in altering a company culture and the art of financial engineering. The big brewers missed the micro move to quality and I don’t think that they can catch up in a era of a shrinking pie for commodity beers.

  7. How do these delusional people manage to find their way to work every day? Do they really think unicorn farts and pixie dust are real and plentiful, just waiting to be integrated into the energy system?

    They’re certifiable! Every last one of them!

  8. as prices go up and the poor are hit the worst, all we will need is a tax credit for the poor or a wealth tax on the rich to offset the impacts! Then we will need to raise the minimum wage and provide a basic monthly income for those that lose their jobs because industry and companies relocate where it is cheaper to operate.

  9. Renewable greenbacks, yes. Also, debt and credit emissions at the source. As well as environmental disruption throughout the life cycle. And intermittent energy when the wind and sun are within range. Niche solutions, falsely reported, that should be considered in an energy basket, as they are suitable for an application.

  10. “spinning straw into go gold” is right. Politico’s will take the skim from the unnecessary projects and be long gone when the bills come rolling in. Consumer education should but likely isn’t taking place. It will be like the Flint water problem created by Democrat office holders over years then twisted into a victim hood narrative. Heads I win tails you lose proposition.

    The bit about Atlanta was probably the worst. A broke booty city buying carbon credits is as dumb as it gets unless you are the promoter

  11. Here in North Eastern Ohio they also plan on closing the two remaining nuclear power plants in the area. I don’t think I will have to run a climate model to be project that increases in the price of electricity are in my future.

  12. As I said before – If Mark Jacobson real expertise on converting the electric grid to 100% renewables, every utility company would be competing for his services with salary offers in excess of $1m.

    That aint happening – Any guesses on his real expertise.

  13. It all depends on their definition of renewables. Lets face it coal, oil, and natural gas are all renewable, just on a different time scale. Wood and biomass are considered to be renewables, but without our technology they emit nearly as much CO2 as coal. With our technology nothing you burn emits more CO2 emissions than solar, wind power, or hydroelectric power. Cincinnati, could burn Illinois #6 coal and emit nothing with our technology. That means no SO2, no NO2, no CO2, no mercury, and no particulates. President Donald Trump swore that someone would come up with an economical way to burn coal with no emissions. We did it. But we are supposed to be in Canada, I was kicked out of Canada, apparently for trying to save bitumen production and fossil fuel burning. Right now I am in Mt. Vernon. Illinois, waiting for my grandson to get out of school. My Canadian E-mail still works: RHood@BESTCarbonCapture.ca and I can still get it in Mt. Vernon, Illinois.

  14. I pay £0.42p a Kw/Hr. The joys of living on a tiny island with a population of 2000 people. We have on island generation using oil fired generators.

  15. From the article: “Purchasing renewable credits from other locations is the slight-of-hand method that allows city mayors to claim 100 percent renewable status.”

    The only way these mayors can truthfully claim to be going 100 percent windmills and solar is to cut themselves off from the fossil fuel electric grid and be 100 percent connected to their unreliable power generation.

    The mayor in Minnesota is writing his constituents death sentences were he to actually try to make his city 100 percent dependent on unreliable wind and solar, that do VERY poorly in extreme cold weather. What a maroon!

    If these mayors don’t plan to be 100 percent disconnected from the traditional electric grid, then they are just lying and trying to fool people into believing they can do without fossil fuels and nuclear power,when they are not actually doing that, and the truth is a lot of people would die if they really tried it.

    These mayors are flat-out lying to their constituents when they claim unreliables are a viable solution.

    Not in my backyard.

  16. According to the Icebreaker Wind Report, the six turbines are “six Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Vestas Offshore Wind (MVOW)model V126 turbines that are each rated at 3.45 MW.” That 3.5 megaWatts, not gigaWatts.

    That said, Icebreaker’s rated annual production should be 181 gigaWatt hours. They promise to deliver 75 gW-hr, for 41% efficiency.

    However, “Throughout Europe, wind turbines produced on average less than 20% of their theoretical (or rated) capacity.

    Meaning that Icebreaker is promising about twice the known performance efficiency of wind turbines. One suspects their economic projections are equally skewed.

    A couple of articles discussing the wonderfulness of wind power:
    http://www.thecommentator.com/article/2619/wind_power_the_greenfellas_connection
    https://www.energycentral.com/c/pip/wind-power-high-environmental-costs-limited-energy-delivered

  17. “…But Wisconsin is not exactly the sun belt. Traditional generating stations provide 92 percent of the state’s electrical power and Wisconsin is a poor location for both wind and solar….”

    We here in Wisconsin keep hearing rumors that there is something called the “sun” up in the sky. The rumors state that it is quite big, intensely bright and yellow in color. It presumably provides heat and light when it is visible. Unfortunately, the sky here in the Badger State is solid grey so much that these rumors cannot be confirmed.

    I expect solar panels to power my home state like I expect AOC to turn conservative. If these cities (with their renewable energy mandates) expect to be taken seriously, I am willing to take up a collection for the mayors of each of them to be fitted for clown suits. Virtue signalling is for the birds.

  18. Wood-fired stations? It appears to me that cutting down CO2 absorbing trees and burning them, thereby releasing the carbon into the atmosphere is counter-productive and utterly illogical.

    • If wood fired plants are considered green then it is possible that Cinci could achieve their goals albeit with 100% wood fired.

    • A full sized tree will burn in a matter of minutes in an industrial-scale burner, but it takes years to grow.

  19. Notice, if you will, that the price paid for wind may or (more likely) will NOT cover the true cost of the windpower – which rests primarily upon four things : cost of construction, the lifespan of the turbine, the maintenance costs , and the capacity over time. We have seen a study on this site of wind farms and how especially large turbines (over 1 1/2 MW) fail to live out their expected lifespans to the tune of 50% and also lost output capacity over time. Only when all of these factors are known do we know how much the wind power really costed the buyer.
    Assume the cost is double.

  20. Add to the costs of the equipment the costs of providing backup generation , which costs roughly the same as online generation minus any fuel savings.

  21. Energy does not have color. No one can tell whether the electricity from their wall outlet is green or provided by a coal-fired plant. Purchasing renewable credits from other locations is the slight-of-hand method that allows city mayors to claim 100 percent renewable status.

    Not really true. Grid operators can “wheel” electricity from a producer to a consumer who contract with each other for a price per MWh, and contract with the grid for a price to transport it. “Wheeling” is a common practice for electric grids. It’s opposed to “dealing” which means the grid buys from a producer and sells to a consumer at a different price.

    “Wheeling and dealing” are old terms dating from the age of carters moving goods around from farms to markets etc. Wheeling allowed the carter a definite price, and dealing allowed the carter a chance at a bigger profit, but with attached risk.

    I may be wrong, but I suspect that electric grids and natural gas pipelines are the only forms of “transportation” where both wheeling and dealing are still common practices.

    So it’s perfectly true to say that a utility can purchase “green” electricity from a generator far away. There is perhaps the possibility of abuse, depending on the integrity of the participants, but it doesn’t matter that there are different electrons coming out from those that went in. That’s just the way grids work.

  22. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

    “Verified account

    @AOC
    6h6 hours ago
    More
    While the right keeps screeching on calling everything “socialism” (as nations w/ univ healthcare + better work standards enjoy better health & work life than Americans),”

    I thought she called herself a Democratic Socialist. So now she’s on the right. I’m going left then

  23. While this post is mostly about Cincinnati, if you live in a U.S city, it is coming to your city too. The first you may hear about it may be an announcement in your local paper of a public hearing TONIGHT. But you can bet that the local Sierra Club has know about it for months, and probably had input to the plan as a “stakeholder.”

    This is not something to mock. It is a serious plan to kill opposition to the Paris Accords by “death by a thousand little cuts.” The proponents are well organized and well funded. The city of San Antonio, Texas, just received a 2.5 million dollar “grant” from Blumberg to continue work on their plan.

    Two nights ago, I attended a public hearing on the San Antonio, Texas, “Climate Action Plan”, put on by the local municipally owned utility, CPS Energy. The hearing was about CPS’s plan to be (mostly) carbon-neutral by 2040. There were 35 people who spoke, and all but about 6, were people who in some way were involved in developing the plan. If they found any fault with the plan, it was that the actions specified weren’t happening soon enough. So of course the local paper reports that “citizens were overwhelmingly in favor of the plan.”

    Each person had 2 minutes to speak. I had signed up to speak. I knew that there was not time to explain why the whole plan was a bad idea. So I chose only one point of the plan to comment on. The CPS Energy plan was to be have 50% of their electricity supplied by wind and solar, with “storage” as the backup.

    In my two minutes I pointed out that utility size storage does not now exist, and that the only path to CO2 emission free power generation in the next 22 years was nuclear. I doubt I made any impression at all.

    Those of us who are skeptics of CAGW are not going to be able to stop this tidal wave. We can only be aware that it is coming and make plans for how to ride out the coming economic disruption .

  24. Former Vice President Al Gore said Democratic Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam can fulfill his “racial reconciliation” pledge by opposing the Atlantic Coast pipeline, which he called a “racist rip-off.”

    Pope Gore was speaking to a primarily black audience. No shame at all.

    • Didn’t the church stop selling indulgences centuries ago?

      Oh, sorry, this is the New Church of Climate Alarmism.

      In that case, Pope St. Gore should offer Saudi Arabia and Iran, etc., complete absolution from their horrid crimes against humanity if they just give up selling oil.

  25. These initiatives are always successful because they only exists on spreadsheets that ignore reality.

    In Australia the ACT (similar deal to Washington DC) claims to be 100% renewable shortly. It is a territory totally embedded in the economically largest, most energy consuming, primarily coal powered State in the country. It beggars belief that the words come out of their mouths , even if they are politicians. All they have achieved is the usual higher costs.

  26. Pigs are flying again in Porkopolis. With less than 3 percent of Ohio’s electricity coming from ‘renewables’, 47 percent from coal, 35 percent from natural gas, and 15 percent from nuclear generators, the pigs may be landing quite soon.

  27. It’s a puzzle why mayors of cities like Cincinnati would be so afraid of a 2C – 3C rise in their annual average temperature in 80 years — even assuming the IPCC unlikely predictions were to eventuate — to the extent of ruining the economy and exposing their population to deadly winter weather extremes.
    Of course the population would gradually move elsewhere maybe Texas.
    An annual average temperature map of the US is difficult to find:
    http://www.virginiaplaces.org/climate/graphics/meandailytemp.gif
    An isotherm map from 1823 appears about the same for the US:
    http://libweb5.princeton.edu/visual_materials/maps/websites/thematic-maps/quantitative/meteorology/woodbridge-map-1823.jpg

  28. Regarding the burning of wood, well yes one can say that it is a renewable, with a interval of so many years. CO2 absorbed, burn, CO2 is released.

    So its neutral, but so what. We the brighter ones know that CO2 is a good gas, essential for all life, but try telling that to the Greens.

    Still if the object of the exercise is to get the major elected, then it seems to work,.

    MJE

    • Wood is an OK fuel source but not the best:

      BTUs Produced per Ton:
      Ethanol: 11.8 million (Net) Ethanol produces 18.3 million BTUs/ton, but requires 6.5 million BTUs / ton to make. Note: in 2017, 43% of US corn production was used to make ethanol
      Wood: 17 to 19 million (depending on species of wood)
      Coal: 20 to 29 million (depending on grade)
      Crude Oil: 36 to 39 million
      Propane (LPG) 42.6 million
      Natural Gas (LNG): 44.6 million

      • For me, wood is the best fuel source because…
        .
        1) I can’t grow corn on my property ( no ethanol )
        2) There is no coal to mine on my property
        3) There is no crude oil on my property
        4) Ditto for propane and natural gas.
        .
        I can harvest all the fuel I need for heat with dead wood on the forest floor. It’s going to rot if I don’t utilize it, and by cleaning up the forest floor of dead wood, I reduce the risk of wild fires destroying my neighbors homes.

      • Louis,
        Propane has 2516 btu/ cf, Nat Gas only 1030 btu/ cf.

        When I buy LPG, it’s by volume (gallons), not weight.

  29. Maybe they should run their town on 100% renewable methane and rename the place Bartertown.
    Tina Turner can be Mayor.

  30. Solar and wind power are relatively low cost. If a city can lock in for all the production from a wind or solar generator that has priority access to a large market that accepts energy whenever it is available, the cost is quite low. This arrangements avoids the real cost of delivering energy on demand, which is the domain of dispatchable generators.

    In Australia, South Australia has an abundance of wind generators. The wholesale price often swings negative to force wind generators to reduce output and occasionally reaches for the stars when wind is low and demand is high. The price is capped at an astronomical $14,500/MWh.

    In Queensland the intermittency problem is different. The state has 30% of households with rooftop solar and it is drenched in sunshine. In the cooler months, when air-conditioning demand is low, the lunchtime wholesale price now goes negative. The grid scale wind farms are forced to cut back because they do not want to export money as well as energy.

    SA has managed 50% market share from intermittents but it only achieves that because it has high capacity connections to other states that act like enormous batteries of infinite capacity. Queensland only has about 10% market share but the intermittency is already creating huge swings in wholesale price.

    So the first city that locks in a long term contract to take power from an intermittent ambient generator can do well providing the rest of the network is treated as a big battery. As more cities get into the act it becomes increasing expensive to absorb the intermittency. Ultimately it works out lower cost for everyone to go off grid because intermittents offer little benefit of scale and minor benefit of geographic diversity, which is offset by the high cost of transmission from dispersed sources working at low capacity factors.

    The blog has a mistake regarding the City of Maddison the proposed solar generators will produce about 20 gigawatthours not 20 megawatt hours.

    • No, wind and solar are NOT relatively low cost. Here in the eastern US, coal, combined cycle natural gas and nuclear produce power for 1.6 to 3.6 cents/kw-hr… 24/7. The maintenance ALONE for off-shore wind runs 5 cents/kw-hr, backup power another 3 cents/kw-hr to maintain low efficiency gas turbines. Given the opportunity cost of up front capital, neither wind nor solar will ever make a dime.

      • Recent auction prices for wind and solar average USD50/MWh:
        http://euanmearns.com/a-review-of-recent-solar-wind-auction-prices/
        As you can see, in well-selected locations auction prices are as low as USD17/MWh.

        Keep in mind this is for new capacity. Your figures for coal and nuclear are based on generators where financing costs are no longer significant. The cost would be more like USD80/MWh for new capacity for coal and nuclear but both forms of generation face increasing difficulty in getting approvals.

        If a city can get an auction price of USD20/MWh to USD35/MWh for all its power it is going to get a good deal providing it can let the network deal with the intermittency. All the other network users pay the cost of intermittency unless the network already has large hydro buffers that can ramp up and down easily at no cost.

        Determining the cost of intermittency is challenging. Most politicians are seduced by the low auction prices for wind and solar and have no idea how a grid operates. The vast majority have no clue about on-demand systems. In Australia, those stuck with grid power are gradually being introduced to “load management” whereby the grid operator will cut off ground of consumers where there is not enough generation to meet demand.

  31. Burning wood to produce electricity is just dumb. It is uneconomical, since you have to go further and further afield to bring in your fuel. The trucking costs are what kill it. And the environmental consequences are severe. You have to use everything, so we’re talking clear-cutting. There are better uses for trees.

    • How about the use of biomas by the Drax power plant in England.

      The material comes from trees in the USA and shipped to England.

      Drax power station sits on coal reserves !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • The whole renewables argument rests on CO2. We’re all gonna fry drown etc. in x + 10 years were x=today’s date unless we stop emitting CO2.

      On this basis surely it does not matter whether we burn trees that lived millions of years ago or only recently? C02 is C02 and its all sinful right?

      Oh, and why is it that CO2 that comes out of China or a coal fired power station built by them apparently doesn’t count? Has this CO2 been sanctified by the someone from the Church of Global Warming, err, sorry forgot ‘the pause’, I mean Climate Change?

  32. Cincinnati is 190 mi from Lake Erie. So the wind mills in the lake are of limited relevance. It also has more than 180 cloudy days per year, so don’t hold your breath about solar. Fortunately for them, there are lots of really big coal plants along the Ohio River.

  33. Don’t you hear the choir now?
    Listen to the animals sing.
    Can’t you hear the slaughterhouse bells?
    In the land of the pig, the butcher is king!
    In the land of the pig, the butcher is king!

  34. not sure about that map,,,,I live in Florida where I pay about 9.5 cents per kWh. I recently purchased a summer home in massachusetts. I’m paying over 25 cents per kWh there.

  35. I live in PA. One of the few clever, honest things the governments did some 20 years ago was institute an open power market. You choose your power supplier. If you want “green” you can get it for a price. If you want to save money there are plenty of suppliers with deals as low as 6 cents/kWh. The local power company usually is a bit higher, around 8-9 cents. The power amounts to about half the bill because the local power company gets a distribution fee and a few small gimmies, so the cost of electricity hovers around 8-10cents/kWh.

    Even though the EIA says the average cost is 14+ cents/kWh, anybody can cut that nearly in half by shopping around. Their numbers don’t change the fact that regardless of price there is no way to supply 100% electrical power without somebody backing it up with fossil fuels.

  36. Hi guys, can you please take more care when using the terms “power” and “energy”. Gigawatt-hours measure energy, not power as you stated in your article. On the other hand, power is measured in gigawatts (or watts). These terms can not be used interchangeably. Cheers

  37. Hi Anthony,

    From the Sioux City Journal March 10, 2010
    “The Iowa Senate voted Tuesday to allow MidAmerican Energy Co. to boost electric consumer rates by $15 million to study the feasibility of building a nuclear plant in Iowa to generate electrical power.
    House File 2399, which passed on a 37-13 vote, provides for an annual electrical bill rate rider for three years of $4 per residential customer, $15 per commercial customer and $1,100 for industrial customers to finance a three-year study to be reviewed annually by the Iowa Utilities Board.

    However Mid American Energy is going full retard, and the Iowa skyline will naer be the same”.
    https://midamericanenergy.com/our-renewable-energy-vision.aspx

    From the map, Iowa’s rates now are in the 12-13 cents per KWH. It’s obvious Mid American is taking full advantage of Federal Funds to plaster Iowa with Eco-Crucifixes and when the gravy train stops, I think we now the result. Having gone through a couple brutally cold weeks this winter, I would feel much safer knowing Iowa had on line, a Nuke, Coal, Gas or Oil plants. I feel for those in cities going full retard. Maybe it’s time to leave, I don’t care to freeze in the cold if the wind isn’t blowing

    I thought I would also share this Hot Dog sauce recipe.

    https://www.geniuskitchen.com/recipe/famous-butler-hot-dog-shoppe-chili-sauce-19832

  38. Who cares of GWh, efficiency, availability ? A minority who knows what they mean.

    Companies will produce installations, others will set them up, subcontractors will do this and that, all of course with income in mind.

    Decision makers would obviously be proposed collateral revenues. And that’s all about it.

  39. I happened to turn to the CSPAN coverage of the annual meeting of mayors last month. The biggest topic was their plans for 100% renewables and zero-carbon by 2050. There were a lot of grandiose generalities about “following the science” and “the technology tells us…”, but of course no details to share with everyone else for their mutual benefit, as you might otherwise expect. Also a lot of patting each other on the back for their brave commitments.

    But even worse than that was the utter lack of curiosity or planning for any downside along the way. No mention of the troubles other countries are running in to and how we might avoid those mistakes. No notion of learning from others mistakes. Which shouldn’t surprise us. This is what passes for so-called ‘leadership’ in this climate-crazed world.

    Is this just “stupid is as stupid does”? Or is it telling us that it’s not really about saving the planet?

    • No projects, no chance for a kickback or a rake. And it doesn’t matter whether or not a project is successful.

      It’s that simple.

  40. Cincy is famous for its chili houses — try the 5-way if you get to one.
    That, of course, will negate the City’s CO2-free effort.
    I can fix that for you. Send me a dollar and I’ll plant a tree.

    • If there is a kroger or harris teeter close to where you live some have canned or frozen skyline chili. Not as good as from the restaurant. But when you need a fix in raleigh Nc it works. And no …. renewables won’t cover those 98 f days with 98% humidity coming off the river on a non windy week. I don’t miss those summer days.

    • Among the funniest minutes on TV.
      (The red letters on the Central Trust building are now blue and say PNC.)

    • The best ever episode of any sitcom. It is great to have it on DVD. A true classic to watch at thanksgiving or any time you really need to laugh

  41. Sorry to hear that Cincinnati has gone “green”. I grew up just across the river. (Went to HS at St X.). I have family that lives there.
    (We had someone running for councilman come to my HS classroom. He was against building Riverfront Stadium. He wanted the money to be spent on public housing instead. His name was Jerry Springer.)
    Maybe they could achieve their goal if they scrap all the solar and wind sh… and figure out a way to harness the results of putting “Cincinnati Chile” on a “White Castles”?
    (“White Castles” were the original “sliders”.)

    • White Castles = small square burgers, with holes filled with onions.
      N for $1, depending on the year. (There was a cheap chicken place, I liked better.)

      • 😎 MINCED onions AND a pickle. When I was a kid they were $0.16 a burger when they were over $0.25 everywhere else . I really did usually eat 10 at one sitting. (Might explain a few of my health issues today.8-)
        Cincinnati Chile and White Castles each had a unique taste that you either loved or hated.
        (Or maybe didn’t mind re-tasting later?8-)

        PS The last time I ate Skyline, you could get a 5 way and substitute a baked potato for the spaghetti.
        It was good.

        • You’re just a pup, Gunga Din. White Castles were 7¢ when I was a kid.

          Those things set off a 3-alarm gallbladder attack followed by terminal indigestion now that I don’t have the cast iron stomach of my youth. But they aren’t kidding when they advertise, “The Taste People Crave.” Every once in a while, ya just gotta have a Rat Burger, hold the tail.

          • A real extreme end of a late night out in clifton was camp Washington chili then the drive thru at the white castle near by.

          • My favorite nick name was “Rectum Rockets”. But they are good!
            (My only problem with them now that I’m older is that the taste tends to “repeat” at intervals.8-)

            PS I could drive when the price was $0.16. When I was a kid they were bought for me. Never paid attention to the price.
            PPS In some areas where they don’t have a White Castle you can find them in the frozen food section.

  42. This post is mostly about Cincinnati, but if you live in a city in the U.S., it is coming to your city too. The first you may hear of it is a newspaper notice about a public meeting to get citizen reaction to a “climate Plan”. It will probably be short notice- as in: “there is a meeting this evening.” But you can bet the local Sierra Club chapter will have heard about the plan months ago. They probably helped write the plan as a “stakeholder.”

    This is all part of a plan to get cities to buy into the Paris Accord at the local level. The organizers intend to kill off opposition by ” death by a 1000 small cuts.’ You can make snide remarks and mock them if you wish. But make no mistake: the organizers are deadly serious, and the supporters well organized and well funded.

    Two nights ago I attended such a meeting in San Antonio, Texas. It was held by the local municipally owned electric and gas utility, CPS Energy covering their part of the San Antonio “Climate Action Plan.” The goal of all these plans is to be “carbon neutral” by 2050. About 35 people spoke at the meeting, All but about 5, spoke in favor of the plan. If there was any criticism of the plan from these people, it was that the was that the specified actions weren’t happening fast enough. Almost all who spoke in favor of the plan actually were somehow involved in the plan’s preparation. With only 5 or so not in favor of the plan, of course the local newspaper reported: “citizens overwhelmingly supported the plan.”

    Skeptics of CAGW are not going to be able to stop this title wave. I fear the economic consequences of these city Climate Action Plans will make what is happening in the UK and South Australia seem mild by comparison.

  43. So… 2050… minus 2019… So 31 years in the future?

    Wow. Ignoring the fact that ‘It May Already Be Too Late(tm)’ and ‘Worse Than First Thought(tm)’, how many years is this brave progressive planet saver from retirement?

  44. “Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley stated, “It has become clear that cities will lead the global effort to fight climate change, and Cincinnati is on the front lines.” Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson also pledged to reach 100 percent renewable electricity by 2050 as part of the city’s 2018 Climate Action Plan.”

    Doesn’t tell from whom that famous mayors will take the money for their wealthy cities green dreams.

    • Why is it that it is usually urban areas that vote in people that want to do stupid things to “Save The Planet”?
      Perhaps because they are so removed from the “Nature” they adore?

      • PS I grew up in the Greater Cincinnati area.
        Just where would the solar and windmill power plants be set up?
        Farm land in rural areas.
        More hot air. Less food.
        (I wonder if millennial in urban areas realize that grocery stores aren’t equipped with “Star Trek”-type food replicators?)

  45. “Traditional generating stations provide 92 percent of the state’s electrical power and Wisconsin is a poor location for both wind and solar.”

    Not to mention they have anyway 100% capacity by fossil powered energy to provide for.

  46. Expert schmeckspert hick-hacks:

    News – 100 Percent Renewable Cities—Is Your Mayor Smarter than a 5th …
    https://www.heartland.org › news-opinion
    vor 11 Stunden · The Icebreaker project would initially construct six 3.5-gigawatt wind turbines in Lake Erie, ten miles off the coast of …

    https://www.heartland.org/news-opinion/news/100-percent-renewable-citiesis-your-mayor-smarter-than-a-5th-grader

    “The Icebreaker project would initially construct six 3.5-gigawatt wind turbines in Lake Erie, ten miles off the coast of Cleveland, at an estimated cost of $126 million.”

    –>

    Robert W Turner February 20, 2019 at 10:12 am

    3.5 GW wind turbines? Shouldn’t that be 3.5 MW turbines?

    Reply

    Joel O’Bryan February 20, 2019 at 11:22 am

    You are correct. The writer (Steve Gorham) is so ignorant of the basic technology that he can’t spot obvious errors in his writings.

  47. Atlanta proposes purchasing large amounts of renewable energy credits from wind and solar generators in other states, so that they can claim their green energy status.

    Wonder what happens when all these cities, etc, claim 100% renewable-use and the add-up of that total exceeds the actual total renewable generation?

  48. It is entirely possible for a city to be powered 100% by renewables, as it is to be powered 100% by hamsters in wheels driving dynamos.

    It does not mean the city will be getting much electricity, or have many residents once everyone has decamped to cities that have a continuous, reliable electricity supply.

  49. Welp, I was seriously looking at locating some data center stuff in Cincinnati because of the way the Internet fiberoptic infrastructure is laid out in teh US but it looks like either Indianapolis or Louisville now. Power is the main constraining cost of data center operations and this promises to push data center operators out of Cincinnati.

    • Check out Northern Kentucky, right across the Ohio River from Cincinnati.
      The IRS has a center there so the communication network must be good and the Mayor of Cincinnati’s stupid plan shouldn’t cross the Ohio River.

  50. Cincinnati politics can be really goofy. Jerry Springer was mayor is the 1970’s, AFTER he was caught paying a prostitute with a check while on city council.

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