Washington State blows away wind fantasies

Reposted from CFACT

UK says 100% renewables won't work

By Ronald Stein |October 12th, 2020|Energy

The Northwest has spoken loudly as the Benton Public Utility District (BPUD) has documented their actual battleground experiences with intermittent electricity from wind farms that should be a wake-up call to our policy makers. Their message is “no more wind”.

The Washington state utility 16-page report titled “Wind Power and Clean Energy Policy Perspectives” of July 14, 2020 provides a devastating counter attack to the wind lobbyists that they question the efficacy of wind farms for power generation and resulted in the utility’s commissioners saying they “do not support further wind power development in the Northwest.”

Kudos to this Washington state public utility for speaking up after seeing the costs and dangers of California’s experience with an overreliance on intermittent electricity from wind and solar. In a statement and report, the utility said overly aggressive clean energy policies bring about an unacceptably high risk of power grid blackouts. They go on to say the development of wind farms may be “politically fashionable” and appeal to many in the general public, but science and economics show that attempting to power modern civilization with intermittent electricity from wind and solar will come at a high financial and environmental cost.

The report is consistent with what has happened in Germany and Australia, as power prices in Germany are among the highest in Europe. Today, German households pay almost 50% more for electricity than they did in 2006. Shockingly, America, from California to New York, continues to take giant steps toward following Germany’s failed climate goals which should be a wake-up call for governments everywhere.

The Benton PUD believes:

  • Further wind power development will unnecessarily contribute to increases in northwest utility retail electricity rates which could erode the economic development advantage low rates has given the region for many years. Establishing preferences for wind and solar energy with no accompanying targets for greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reductions in the electricity sector has been shown through comprehensive study to result in unnecessary increases in the cost of electricity while not reducing GHG emissions in the most cost-effective manner possible
  • The best long-term, sustainable, more cost-effective, potentially less risky, and environmentally responsible strategy toward meeting the CETA goal of 100% clean electricity in Washington State by 2045 could be to transition coal power to natural gas and then natural gas to nuclear. Benton’s position is 100 percent opposite of California’s mission to eliminate most natural gas power plants that generate continuous uninterruptible electricity, and all nuclear that generate the only known source of continuous zero emission electricity.
  • Customers and citizens throughout the region are desirous of the natural beauty and open spaces that are part of their way of life. This is the reason for the report and for their formal declaration that Benton PUD does not support further development of wind power in the PNW. The PUD’s position is consistent with a recent decision in California as the San Bernardino County’s Board of Supervisors slammed the brakes on big industrial solar projects and highlighted a challenge for the huge landscaping demands of renewable intermittent electricity
  • Lifecycle economic and environmental impacts expected to result from further development of wind power needs to be scrutinized to a much higher degree with greater recognition of issues like the global impacts of raw materials mining and the disposal of wind turbine blades which are currently destined for landfills. i.e. environmental degradation and humanity atrocities occurring from the mining in the countries that dominate the supply of the exotic minerals and metals to support wind, solar, and EV batteries.

The Benton PUD beliefs are consistent with the U.N. trade body, United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD,) that issued a report breaking down some of the unintended negative consequences of the shift, which include ecological degradation as well as human rights abuses. The U.N. Warns of Devastating Environmental Side Effects of Electric Car Boom.

Further support of the Benton PUD beliefs are numerous documentaries about the atrocities the workers are put through in the cobalt mines, i.e. actually digging the mines by hand along with the horrendous living conditions. Amnesty International has also documented children and adults mining cobalt in narrow man-made tunnels along with the exposure to the dangerous gases emitted during the procurement of these rare minerals.

The wind and solar lobbyists and government policymakers continue their fast-stepping dance to the detriment of those that can least afford expensive electricity. They remain ignorant to the more than 6,000 products derived from the derivatives from oil that did not even exist before 1900 that are the basis of today’s societies and economies around.

The world needs to follow a prudent multi-decadal adaptation and energy strategy that is technically feasible, economically affordable, and socially enhancing (particularly in the developing world). Societies around the world need to be cognizant of understanding a world without fossil fuels, which the recent book “Just GREEN Electricity” does an excellent job of discussing.

  • Electricity can make hospitals run efficiently, but electricity alone cannot make products derived from the derivatives from oil that produce all the critical medical equipment like ultrasound systems, mechanical ventilators, exhalation valves, inhalation valves, CT systems, X-ray, medicines, masks, gloves, soap and hand sanitizers for hospitals, and protective gowns, gloves and face shields gear for doctors and nurses.
  • Electricity can charge your iPhone and EV battery, but electricity alone cannot make all the electronics and communications equipment.
  • Electricity can help the militaries around the world function, but electricity alone cannot make any of the military equipment: aircraft carriers, battleships, destroyers, submarines, planes, tanks and armor, trucks, troop carriers, and weaponry.

The Benton PUD believes it is reasonable to question whether continuing to favor investments in intermittent wind electricity and putting up roadblocks to the development of dispatchable natural-gas power plants is more about environmental virtue signaling than it is about serving the best interests of the citizens of Washington State. In addition, this political posturing for renewables is silently supporting the environmental degradations and humanity atrocities occurring around the world to supply exotic minerals and metals required by wind, solar, and EV batteries.

Author

Ronald Stein is an engineer who, drawing upon 25 years of project management and business development experience, launched PTS Advance in 1995. He is an author, engineer, and energy expert who writes frequently on issues of energy and economics.

108 thoughts on “Washington State blows away wind fantasies

  1. Why do they call wind turbines and solar photovoltaic arrays “renewable”? They are not.
    They are net energy consumers, when EROI is calculated including the energy cost of backing up their intermittent production of electricity.
    And, they are not recyclable.

    • Those who tout wind power will point out that it is cheap. They have the numbers to back up that assertion. The EROEI (Energy Returned On Energy Invested) for buffered wind is still positive. link However, it is so bad that insufficient energy is left to power a modern civilization. It’s called the EROEI cliff.

      Even though the price of unbuffered wind power is cheap, it always results in high prices to the consumers and plunges many into energy poverty.

      You won’t convince the greenies that wind power is not cheap. The best you can do is hold their toes to the fire to explain why it always raises prices. link

      The average voter will note the increase in electricity prices.

      • Will the average voter connect the increase in electricity prices with Dem policy before the POTUS election? Unless Donald Trump exploits this mercilessly for the little time available I don’t think so. IOW, I don’t think so.

      • Forget wind power and solar, the lighting system with the highest EREOI is window curtains. Like PV, however, they only work when the sun is out.

        To ensure reliability, non-dispatchable power like wind and PV needs full capacity back-up systems on hot standby. The capital, operations, and maintenance costs for the back-up systems are essentially the same whether they are used a lot or just a little. For a systems standpoint, the only value of non-dispatchable power is the avoided cost of fuel for the back-up systems.

      • yes exactly what happened in our country.
        They put in a few wind farms and hey presto my electricity bill shot up 30%.

        Previously almost all the electricity was produced with oil shale, then along came the dictators from Brussels, and said it’s bad AND you have to have “competition” between producers or resellers when there is only one producer.
        My fights with the electricity supplier are never ending as a consumer,but BOY, you have to see the raw deal the industrial users get!

        Which reminds me, our water costs more than in Spain where it never rains.
        All this was in a country which used to be some of the least expensive utilities of all.

        Go take a look at the Baltic states, it’s acting out “the green new deal” in spades, including first blackmailing Lithuania to shut the only NPP that worked, then import the deficit from nutcase gun waving, Lukashenko next door and his little son.

    • How does one mine and then calcine the amount of limestone required to produce the 1,500 tons of concrete required for the base of a single 4 MW wind turbine, using the power output (at 30% availability) of a 4 MW wind turbine? And if one could, what would be left for powering the rest of the world?

        • Perhaps we should be thanking them for their contribution to global greening caused by the increased atmospheric levels of the essential gas and plant food; CO2!
          A fleet of modern, safe nuclear reactors with adjacent cement and concrete plants would be a strong foundation upon which to rebuild our crumbling, antique infrastructure!
          Save Planet Earth; go nuclear NOW! CO2 to 1,000ppm!

    • The cost of unreliable generation is affecting everyone , although a lot of the time the media do not tell the truth about it .
      In Germany , which has perhaps the most Wind/Solar , the unit cost to domestic customers has gone from 10.6 E Cents in 2008 , to 32.0 E cents now .

      In the UK the price has risen by 120% for domestic customers in just over 10 years .
      And there is a lot more costs on top of that as only a small percentage of the subsidies to Wind/Solar is put on the energy bills , a lot more is paid through general taxation .

      And now the UK government has announced an increase in Wind generation , which will put up prices even more .
      https://www.thegwpf.com/boris-johnson-announces-200-rise-in-electricity-prices/?mc_cid=940bae05d8&mc_eid=2560bc397b

      So to do away with all Wind generation would benefit the public , but when did the ones with their snouts in the trough ever think about everyone else .

      • Er I’m in the UK and my electricity costs have reduced since switching to a greener tariff several years ago. I often get paid to use electricity. When the strike price for nuclear is £100/MWh and the strike price for wind is just £40/MWh, and the wholesale price for electricity is £49/MWh, you can see new wind isn’t being subsidised at all. What’s more, because of the amount of renewables the UK has invested in, during lockdown when less electricity was needed, it was easier and cheaper to shut down production than had we maintained more coal and natural gas power stations.

    • Wall Street claims they are renewable, save the planet, and make its clients richer.
      Thousands of professors (who brain-wash their gullible students) write, FOR BIG MONEY, hundreds of reports that PROVE Wall Street is right.

      Enough said?

  2. Best on how long will it take for Griff to pipe up with how Well Germany is actually doing with Costs More Energy…
    I say 27 posts (forgot Griff is likely sleeping at the moment) 46 posts

    • No doubt he will tell you how fast the UK train wreck is progressing and how fast an advanced economy can get itself back to the dark ages when idiots get to make decisions.

        • It took from 10:34 pm til 12:32 am 1 he and 58 min and 7 leading posts. Just say MouldyWart and Griff appears
          And spouting off about Germany as predicted.

  3. Well it looks like that’s that. Early retirement for Greta.
    I have a hamster that runs on a exercise wheel in his cage. I think I can wire it up to produce energy. I’m not sure how much electricity it will make, he usually only runs for about 5 minutes a day, so it is intermittent, but with enough hamsters running in shifts it could possibly be run 24 hours a day.
    How come using common sense seems to be more scientific than climate science. Didn’t we say years ago that wind generators would be more costly and a eyesore?

  4. It seems obvious that Renewable Wind & Solar electricity requires Storage to cover weather gaps in generation.

    Here is Hydrogenics’ system that has been used since 2013 to utilise surplus wind (and solar) in Germany to hydrolise Hydrogen. This is inserted at 5% into Germany’s NatGas pipelines which reduces the amount of NatGas bought from Russia.

    Since 2013, Hydrogenics has added production of H2 for fuel cell railway trains.
    .
    https://www.hydrogenics.com/2013/10/01/140-mw-wind-park-officially-opens-in-germany-with-energy-storage-facility-using-1-mw-power-to-gas-system-from-hydrogenics/

    • The key phrase in the Hydrogenics link above is:

      The hydrogen compression and storage system stores up to 27MW/Hr of energy and dramatically increases the overall efficiency of the wind park by tapping into wind energy which otherwise would be wasted.

      “better than throwing it away” is a rather low standard to meet. Given the power-to-gas system uses only 1 MW out of the 140MW total nameplate capacity, I think it considerably overstates the facts to claim this “dramatically increases the overall efficiency of the wind park”.

      • I looked at the question of just how much “surplus” wind you could expect, looking at the UK demand and current installed wind capacity as a base, and then looking at multiples of that capacity. The result is not at all pretty for green hydrogen proponents. You have to build a lot of capacity that will be used very rarely if you want to avoid curtailment. But even the first plant built can hardly expect any decent utilisation. Chart showing my results here:

        https://datawrapper.dwcdn.net/jpImX/2/

        Of course, you also have to have a transmission network that can handle all the power flows. And storage for the hydrogen, with rather less than perfect recovery of stored gas, and costs for pumping and compression. And an inefficient, intermittent operation of the electrolysis plant. And the losses in converting the hydrogen back to power. It is extremely hard to make any kind of economic sense of it.

    • cuzLorne,
      Do you have a true cost, relative to natural gas, for every kJ equivalent of H2 gas that is “inserted at 5% into Germany’s NatGas piplines” from the Hydrogenics’ system you referenced?

      With what is sure to be a very low overall process efficiency due to the multiple steps involved, I am betting that hydrogen is at least a factor of 10 higher than the natural gas on a total life cycle cost per kJ heat equivalent produced.

      As always, follow the money . . . what is the true end cost to consumers & taxpayers when utilizing a Hydrogenics process?

      • A factor of ten is a good estimate, supported by industry consultants Timera, who estimate cots of $30/MMBtu or more for green hydrogen. Henry Hub is trading either side of $3/MMBtu (more over Dec/Jan/Feb/Mar, below for Apr-Nov). European TTF gas is a little more expensive at around $3.75/MMBtu.

    • It’s not clear what “to hydrolise Hydrogen” means–does this mean electrolysis of water to hydrogen and oxygen?

      There are several problems with this. Wind turbines, like any other rotating generator, produce alternating current, which is good for powering electric motors, but electrolysis requires direct current (always flowing in the same direction). Converting alternating current (AC) to direct current (DC) requires rectifiers, with a substantial energy loss, particularly if the AC is produced at various frequencies (due to fluctuations in wind speed).

      Electrolysis cells usually run at atmospheric pressure, so that any hydrogen collected at the anode would have to be compressed to pipeline pressure, which would require a substantial amount of energy.

      Another problem with injecting hydrogen into a natural-gas pipeline is that the heat of combustion of hydrogen on a per-mole basis (or a per-volume basis at a given temperature and pressure) is only about 30% of that of methane. A mixture of 5% hydrogen and 95% methane has a heat of combustion about 3.44% less than that of the same volume of pure methane, so that every Nm3 of hydrogen injected into the gas pipeline only saves about 0.3 Nm3 of natural gas. The actual savings are less than that, due to the energy cost of compressing the hydrogen and energy lost in the AC-to-DC rectifiers.

  5. The Benton PUD is a small utility, serving around 50,000 customers. However as I recall the person in the story who called out the emperor’s new “clothes” was small too–a child. From little acorns …

  6. Hopefully this display of GUTS and FORTITUDE against the chattering leftist mob..

    …. will spread far and wide. !

    It is well past time that sensible governments came out said….. ENOUGH IS ENOUGH !!

  7. ‘Today, German households pay almost 50% more for electricity than they did in 2006. ‘

    As I never tire of telling you, much of that is non renewable related tax, German costs for renewables were higher, as they started earlier, the renewable component has been static or even declined in the last few years, German household bills are lower as they use less electricity than US ones and of course millions of Germans actually have solar panels or shares in community wind which reduces bills and brings an income.

    If you rolled out wind and solar to German levels in the USA at today’s prices, you would not end up with German (self chosen) electricity costs.

    • Only if you ignore the ancillary costs, most of which are documented here. Even the UN has come out against some of the horrible upstream costs imposed on materials production.

      Are YOU willing to work in a cobalt mine in Africa as a laborer?

      • just where is cobalt used in wind energy convertors? Batteries use it.
        neodymium magnets is the next subject you will bring up. However Many manufacturers do not use them (usually produce DC with no need to sync the rotation rate to mains frequency. AC is provided by electronics:

        ENERCON WECs produce clean energy without neodymium
        29.04. 2011

        ENERCON wind energy converters (WECs) generate electricity in an environmentally friendly way without the use of the controversial element, neodymium. The gearless WEC design on which all WEC types – from the E-33/330 kW to the E-126/7.5 MW – are based includes a separately excited annular generator. The magnetic fields required by the generator to produce electricity are created electrically. By design, and unlike the majority of competing products, ENERCON WECs do without permanent magnets whose production requires neodymium.

      • Thanks for the link.
        From that document it would be clear, even to Griff, that the high kWh price on average is dependent on the astronomical prices the grid has to pay during little wind and little sun:
        “on June 29 reached a sky-rocketing €37,856/megawatt-hour, against €10 on June 22.”

        • “clear, even to Griff”

          You are grossly over-estimating griff’s comprehension and reasoning abilities.

          Those are the sort of facts that he/she/it can NEVER allow to penetrate his hard-held shield of willful ignorance.

    • WRONG AS ALWAYS, griff.

      Germany now overtaken Denmark for electricity prices.

      They offload at negative prices when they have too much , then pay EXORBITANT high prices when there is no wind or solar.

      They will be very thankful of Russian GAS over winter, when solar is doning NOTHING.

    • ROFL!! What makes you think the rest of the US wants to wind up like California with intermittent grid supply? Brownouts and blackouts are *not* fun!

    • Real world, griff: My spring-to-fall monthly electric bill is $29.00 +/- a few cents in the summer. Haven’t had to use air conditioning for about 5 years now, which cuts my cost considerably.

      I pay a SET & AGRED monthly amount of $60, which gives me a large credit on my account over the months from spring into fall, when the furnace is not in use. In my next electric bill, because I had to start running the furnace on Sept. 9 this year, due to a rapid drop in outdoor temps, I should see an increase in charges, but my agreed-and-set monthly payment will still be $60, and the credit I’ve accumulated will keep my monthly bill lowered.

      Electricity is generated locally by tangible fuels, not sky dragons and moonbeams and cloud songs, and that makes it reliable, even if there is a storm that shuts off power to my county and three others. That’s the power company’s problem to resolve – and we’ve had a couple of doozies.

      And Merkel’s return to digging coal to fire up power plants is her only way to restore that one utility to keep electricity from failing and keep people alive, after the egregious loss of lives that SHE is responsible for.

      So just HOW is Germany’s power system better and cheaper and more reliable, when clearly, it is NOT?

    • They use less electricity because they can’t afford to use more.

      That you never tire of telling lies, has been demonstrated ad infinitum.

    • Ronald; ‘Today, German households pay almost 50% more for electricity than they did in 2006…‘
      Griff; ‘As I never tire of telling you, much of that is non renewable related tax…’
      Which is the same squirming we always hear from hot-air merchants championing the ‘energy transition’ whenever Germany is presented as exhibit ‘A’ against claims that ‘lecky from breezes is ‘cheap’.
      And here is a stacked bar chart showing the increase in German household electricity charges since 2006, sourced from one of the green blob’s own sock-puppet groups:
      https://www.cleanenergywire.org/sites/default/files/styles/gallery_image/public/paragraphs/images/composition-average-household-power-prices-germany-2006-2019.png?itok=g5GME7Vd
      Notice how the Electricty tax has remained constant at 2.05 c/kWhr, as has the concession fee at 1.66 c/kWhr (which is a tax on the use of public space for power transmission lines that the utility passes on to the consumer).
      Notice the light blue part of the bar, the one which has most noticably inflated from 0.88 c/kWhr in 2006 to 6.41 c/kWhr in 2019; that would be the renewables surcharge, which Finances the feed-in tariffs for renewable power and the market premium paid to larger producers. Today this entirely renewable related tax accounts for just over one fifth of the cost to consumers (up from around 5% in 2006 to 23% in 2019).
      VAT/GST/sales tax is 19% of the pre-tax cost of electricity and amounts to around 16% of the final cost to consumers of electricty at 4.8c/kWhr.
      https://www.cleanenergywire.org/factsheets/what-german-households-pay-power

  8. Germany Oct. 13. 08:00 am LTC:

    Windpower Off-Shore working : 1,873 GW (installed capacity: 7,5 GW 1.470 Turnines)
    Windpower On-Shore working: 1,873 GW (installed capacitiy: 61,5 GW 29.546 Turbines)

    Difference supplied by coal and nuclear power plants.

    • Stefan, I don’t understand the numbers, but would like to.
      Could you please write it in a way that even me poor engineer could understand.
      Also, a source will be beneficial.

      • Carl,
        I’ll step in with my interpretation:
        Wind power from off-shore actual working turbines: 25% of installed capacity
        Wind power from on-shore actual working turbines: 3% of installed capacity.

        It appears that Stefan P is mixing the convention (in the US, at least) of using a comma as a “000’s” separator with the frequent European convention of using a comma in place of a decimal point (e.g., 7,5 GW = 7.5 GW). If this is the case, then 1.470 turbines means 1,470 wind turbines installed off-shore, and 29.546 turbines means 29,546 wind turbines installed on-shore. Maybe the inconsistent mix of commas and decimal points are just typos?

        Hopefully, Stephan P will respond with a clarification, as well as a reference for his numbers.

  9. Covid: What is self-isolation and who has to do it?

    When do I need to self-isolate?
    You should self-isolate if:
    • You have Covid symptoms – a new continuous cough, high temperature, or change in sense of taste or smell
    • You test positive for Covid-19
    • You live with someone who has symptoms, or is ill

  10. Covid: What is self-isolation and who has to do it?

    When do I need to self-isolate?
    You should self-isolate if:
    • You have Covid symptoms – a new continuous cough, high temperature, or change in sense of taste or smell
    • You test positive for Covid-19
    • You live with someone who has symptoms, or is ill
    https:// dailyuknews.com

  11. BPUD:

    transition coal power to natural gas and then natural gas to nuclear.

    I would suggest:
    transition coal power to natural gas and then natural gas and nuclear.

    The thing is, as I understand it, that with current nuclear technology change in output from nuclear is too slow to follow demand, thus natural gas or similar is needed as top up to follow demand.

    • Nuclear baseload plants, supplemented by natural gas plants that use nuclear heat to make the gas plants more efficient. It’s a technology that has been explored and has good promise.

    • Carl: You assume gas is always available in the form of a large call option held by the gas fired power stations.
      Gas supply needs some degree of continuity of supply to offer high levels of reliability and to function economically. If you present it with erratic and unpredictable demands, you can end up with single point of failure risk (dependency on gas fired power but the gas supply cannot respond).
      There is a well-established truth here: secure energy supply needs fuel storage. The best way to do this is to hold stocks of coal at coal fired power stations.

    • Jordan, your statement is a bit in contradiction to Brian’s statement.

      In addition natural gas power stations have been built and utilized in conjunction with the increase in wind power all over the US. I don’t think the change of flow rate in the gas pipelines is an issue here.
      The gas power stations have mostly been a substitution for the coal power stations for economical and unjustified Climate-political reasons.

  12. Erm, silly question, when we talk about carbon capture and storage in the U.K. context, are we capturing atmospheric CO2? In which case BIG JOB all of Chinese and Indian emissions, eh?

    • I think most here try not to talk about failed technologies like carbon capture. Why waste a significant fraction of the energy you produce trying to capture carbon? You just make yourself less efficient, increasing the cost of energy.

      • Spetzer, capturing CO2 also robs the atmosphere of it’s second most essential molecule, necessary for life to exist.
        Only H2O could claim to be more important to life than CO2, plus H2O is the greatest “greenhouse gas” there is. It accounts for roughly 95% of all retained heat in the atmosphere.
        I am amazed the Greta’s of this world have not tried to ban water yet….think of all that global warming it causes, give them time, they will get there.

  13. Danish wind turbines are currently less useful then their 18th century windmills.

    Wind Power: 0.09/6.19GW (1%)
    All those 90MW comes from on-shore wind.

    But it is not so bad after all, as 52% of the demand is imported from hydro, coal and nuclear in Norway, Sweden and Germany.
    The future in Denmark is saved when we get 100 times more wind turbines and a few hundred TWh Tesla battery capacity, financed by tax and 200% VAT.

    • Those 18th century windmills turned grist and milling stones to grind grains like wheat and barley into flour, their original and very real purpose. Bread was the staple of the diet of most people whose lives bordered on the poverty level. If grain flours weren’t available, other sources such as peas or potatoes could be substituted for grain flour.

      Somehow, despite such a low-level existence, those people survived conditions that could scare the Holy Hannah out of today’s GND fans. Maybe having to live that way would do these modern know-it-all idjits some real good.

      • Exactly.

        Now if we can only find a way to get the message to those who don’t want to listen, it would help. On the other hand, they’ll be the most likely to suffer for their own folly, since the rest of us are not inclined to fall for fantasies and moonbeams.

  14. @ Carl Friis Hansen

    in Germany the following producers of so-called ‘renewable’ energy are installed:

    OFF-Shore 1.470 Turbines total capacity: 7,5 GW
    ON-Shore 29.546 Turbines total capacity: 61,5 GW
    Photovoltaik: total capacity peak: 49,1 GWp
    Biogas: 5,5 GW
    Hydro: 1.85 GW

    On this site you can check out which source generates electricity daily at which hour with how many GW: https://www.agora-energiewende.de/service/agorameter/chart/power_generation/08.10.2019/11.10.2019/

    The average demand per day is 71 GW

    klick on the blue Window ‘die letzten 7 Tage

  15. Someone needs to send this article to Boris Johnson who represents the new green conservative politician who is making the Democratic choices of conservatives very difficult. When conservative parties keep espousing these green fantasies you really get the feeling that you are fighting a losing battle. What we really need is a series of continuous blackouts in these countries that have gone down this renewable path to actual jolt the insipid voters to realise how this green infiltration of their lives is going to create a very bleak future. It’s not until the unreliability and cost means that politicians will be getting a clear message that the renewables pathway is political poison.
    In Australia we’ve had several elections being fought on climate issues and the conservatives have won each time, yet they still feel the need to pander to the left by retaining at least a pretence that global warming / climate change is an issue. Even Donald Trump was not prepared to categorically take on the topic. To me when he said it was a hoax was the real position all politicians should take rather than feel the political need to give these leftist nutters any credence. In China and other countries ( in particular Asia) that feel no obligations under the Paris agreement they must be laughing all the way to the bank as places like Australia, Europe and many states in the USA seem hellbent on going down these paths of economic self destruction.
    Hopefully these revelations by Washington State is just the start of a process whereby other countries start to realise that even if they believe in all this stuff wind and solar won’t cut it with the only really truly green solution that won’t ruin your reliability is nuclear. Once you realise this why would you even bother with any wind or solar , they just represent an unnecessary additional cost to the system.

  16. The current coven of political kommissars of the PNW aren’t interested in actual facts, even when they are from direct field observation, and especially if those facts do not fit their manifestos.

    So, unless the report is a reflection of how the electorate will vote on November 3, more birds will die unnecessarily, and more $100Ms of taxpayer money will be flushed down the toilet.

  17. Pick a few nits here…or IOW, maybe The Finger is not quite ‘on the pulse’

    1) Quote”German households pay almost 50% more for electricity than they did in 2006″

    If we take annual wage/price inflation at 5%, that means prices double every 15 years..
    Maybe that figure ain’t too bad.

    2) Quote” atrocities the workers are put through in the cobalt mines”

    Pay attention, Elon is now making batteries that don’t have *any*cobalt in them, exactly because of what’s claimed here

    3) I’ve become the best friend and adopted grandad of a young Autistic Girl. She tells me she doesn’t want anything to do with ‘boys’ apart from me, because I have, her words “a good personality”

    My rant is about the atrocity she undergoes almost daily in that people, Grown Up (haha) Adults are *constantly* telling/reminding her that ‘Something Is Wrong With Her’
    Whether is the autism, her wonky eyesight, pica (look it up) etc etc
    Call her Sarah coz thats her name.

    It hurts her deeply, she goes ‘all quiet’ while mentioning it.

    I assure her that its not *her* that is at fault, it is all the (haha) Grown Ups that have The Problem.
    NOT her.
    I would assert that The Food police with their plant based (low to zero B Vitamins) are exactly what caused her condition. A little compensation might be nice.
    But no, all these Clever People constantly torture her (mentally) under the impression they have Good Intentions

    I tell her to learn Spanish (or Polish because Polish peeps are universally nice) and To Get Out Of England ASAP

    Sound anything like familiar to Global Warming Climate Science – where *everyone* is at fault for doing something. Just *you* actually being alive often and actually is their problem with you/everyone

    HOW can they be so dense,thick and deliberately & constantly hurtful?

    Uno wot Ime gonna say doncha: They eat carbs and drink alcohol

    Scary innit………

    • “HOW can they be so dense,thick and deliberately & constantly hurtful?

      Uno wot Ime gonna say doncha: They eat carbs and drink alcohol”

      That’s a gross assumption on your part. Greenies are more likely to be vegetarians, so they would be eating the “right” carbs. And the alcohol part, just a smear.

    • Nope. 1) inflation in Germany was, at maximum, less than 3% since 2006, averaging about 1.5%. The increase in German electricity costs was real. 2) Elon is NOT now making cobalt-free batteries. He doesn’t even have the means to produce them. He announced an intention to do so, but with no time frame. Some experts believe that it’s several years away.

  18. I find this more disturbing than the other stuff: The wind and solar lobbyists and government policymakers continue their fast-stepping dance….

    Unless they are fired and/or sent to jail, and people who are NOT braindead are put in their places, it WON’T stop. THEY have to suffer what others are suffering, and it really should be worse, in their case. Even that won’t stop them. They will only listen to their own fantasies and will NOT believe reality, even when it is forced on them.

    Just glad I have my grandmother’s antique oil lamps. I need to get wicks and chimneys for them, and add a couple more. Winter is coming. the Old Farmers Almanaca says “sloppy, wet and chilly” for my area. Just very glad I can light the stove cooktop with kitchen matches, and thanks to online videos and instructions, I know I can bake break in a skillet on the stovetop, just good, old-fashioned crusty bread like my grandma used to make.

  19. This BPUD mob are not even trying. Their target is 15% from high cost intermittent sources. That is the easy part. They have not even needed to dabble with the expensive bits like synchronous condensers, big batteries and long interconnectors to a big network that they can use to buffer output. This is bad news for Next Era, the biggest energy company by market cap and Tesla, the biggest car manufacturer by market cap and supplier of choice for big batteries. Bad news for the big mining companies that need to supply the 10X steel for towers compared with gas or coal plant. Bad news for the farmers who will not be paid a small fortune to have towers mounted on their land instead of farming for a living. Bad news for the bankers and financiers backing the massive expenditure on WDGs and the supporting infrastructure. Bad news for all the punters betting on the rampant development of WDGs. The only upside are the lower risk of death for our feathered friends and the productivity of crops from ever increasing CO2.

    It is a sad world when electricity utilities put concern for customer electricity cost above the need to save the planet. Would never happen in a sensible place like Australia where saving the planet is gradually evolving to be the #1 priority – once Covid is sorted in the State of Victoria of course.

    • Morning Rick-

      “They have not even needed to dabble with the expensive bits like synchronous condensers.”

      What happens if you haven’t put the synchronous hardware in place when the afternoon duck curve takes over in balancing the Northern CA grid- say with 80 year old hardware interspersed throughout the system?

      • The system controllers go into DONT PANIC mode and send out orders for all gas plant owners to fire up, all diesel plants to fire up and all grid scale WDGs to back off. Easy if the solar is not dispersed rooftop solar like South Australia. They may actually achieve NEGATIVE DEMAND in 2020. Think what that means for frequency and voltage control.

        South Australia already has rooftop lunchtime solar exceeding their own demand but they have ability to expect great slabs of power to neighbouring Victoria to avoid the Nast condition:
        http://nemlog.com.au/gen/region/sa/
        For now!!! Was a different issue earlier in the year fell over in the wind and all the wind generators were ordered off for a couple of weeks.

  20. Don’t forget that wind turbines consume energy when the wind isn’t blowing. They have to run small motors to keep the blades turning so that the bearings don’t develop flat spots.

  21. Reading the truth and having it come from such an authoritative source after all of the propaganda is truly a breath of fresh air. In this case a small amount of this fresh air has the capacity to topple thousands of windmills in the passage of time and then we can get back to building a strong and prosperous society while preserving the natural environment. We should all remember that The ideals we share – justice, security, opportunity, health, social cohesion and freedom from oppression are the fruit of a prosperous and democratic society. If we don’t nurture that the rest will be as real as the illusion of a “green economy”.

    • Note that the web page mentions the future role of the small modular reactors (SMR’s) in the Northwest’s long term power supply picture.

      Energy Northwest will be the plant operator for the NuScale SMR facility now slated to go online in eastern Idaho in 2027. See https://www.nuscalepower.com/

      Energy Northwest is also studying the possibility of adding a NuScale SMR facility to its existing plant site north of Richland, Washington. Whether or not this actually happens depends in good part on how well the NuScale project team can control their construction costs in building the Idaho reactor facility.

  22. The best long-term, sustainable, more cost-effective, potentially less risky, and environmentally responsible strategy toward meeting the CETA goal of 100% clean electricity in Washington State by 2045 could be to transition coal power to natural gas and then natural gas to nuclear.

    2045 is just 25 years away. Washington state generated a total of 106,464 GWh last year, 62% of that from hydroelectric. This is the highest percentage of hydro power for any US state. Coal and natural gas combined for 22,829 GWh. Assuming an 80% capacity factor, than means a total fossil fuel nameplate capacity of around 3.3 GW. Washington would need to bring 3 new AP1000 reactors online at a minimum to meet the CETA target. This is assuming none of the existing WA reactors will be shut down in the meantime.

    A quick scan only shows 1 operating nuclear facility in WA, Columbia Generating Station near Pasco. It’s a 1.1 GW plant initially licensed in 1984 and renewed in 2012. The current license expires at the end of 2043, at which point it will have been in operation 59 years. So even if that license is extended for another 20 years, it means WA will have to replace the Columbia 1.1 GW with another new reactor no more than 18 years after the CETA goal of 2045.

    Replacing WA’s modest amount of coal generation with natural gas is achievable, assuming the state also allows the necessary pipelines. But getting 3 new large reactors online by 2045 is a tall order. Georgia’s Plant Vogtle units 3 and 4 started the regulatory process in 2006 and actual construction in 2013. Current schedule is is unit 3 online May 2021 and unit 4 a year later. That’s 15+ years total time and 10+ years paying interest on construction loans for 2 reactors; Washington needs 3.

    The only thing that keeps the CETA goal this side of pure fantasy (just barely) is that 62% hydro generation, something no other state has.

    • The larger question for residents of Washington State includes Oregon’s decision to go exclusively with wind and solar as a replacement for coal and natural gas, and the adverse impacts that decision will have on the reliability of the Western Interconnection.

      That decision affects every utility that is connected to BPA’s power transmission service area in the US Northwest. Oregon’s decision to go exclusively with renewables in replacing coal and natural gas is ridiculous on the face of it. But nevertheless, it’s the decision a good majority of Oregon’s citizens support.

      Most Oregonians are like most Californians and New Yorkers in that they will not wake up to the dangers posed by the renewables until and unless a series of severe blackout events occur. As far as they are concerned, the Sacramento River, the Columbia River, and the Hudson River are all filled with wind & solar Kool Aid.

      As for the large AP1000 size reactors, the Vogtle 3 & 4 units will be the last of their kind built in the United States. We no longer have the kind of nuclear construction industrial base in this country necessary to deliver these large reactors on cost and on schedule.

      The future of nuclear power in the US lies in building small modular reactors which can be manufactured and installed in cookie cutter fashion. If the NuScale SMR project in eastern Idaho comes in on cost and on schedule, then nuclear has a chance for a comeback.

      • From an article in East Idaho News:

        n 2023 NuScale will receive its final licensing, and the first Small Modular Reactor will go online in 2026.

        Once online, Idaho Falls Power will receive its 10 megawatts from the plant. That could jump up to 14.8 megawatts in 2034.

        So all Washington needs to do is license, permit, finance and construct 223 of these (upgraded to 14.8 MW) by 2045 and they can retire the coal and natural gas plants. Then another 75 by 2063 when presumably the Columbia Generating Station will be decommissioned. That’s just as tall an order as 4 AP1000’s.

        Don’t get me wrong — I think the idea of modular nuclear reactors absolutely needs to be explored. But 14.8 MW units won’t scale up to to utility-scale power generation. And the NuScale reactors still use pressurized water as the moderator and primary loop, and thus have most of the same risks as the current Gen 3 units.

        For a totally different technology that doesn’t use water as a moderator, take a look at Ultra Safe Nuclear’s Fully Ceramic Microencapsulated Fuel reactors. But they’re even smaller — 15MWt or 5MWe — even further from utility scale.

        • The NuScale SMR design is 60 Mw and uses conventional half height fuel rods. The plan for the eastern Idaho facility is for twelve of these 60 Mw SMR’s to be ganged in a common reactor pool facility for a total of 720 Mw. All twelve SMR units don’t need to be present at initial plant startup.

          The NuScale SMR design is passively safe and has no meltdown risk to speak of. An individual SMR unit can be refueled while the other units are still in operation. A NuScale reactor facility doesn’t require nearly as large an emergency preparedness zone around it. A NuScale reactor facility can be islanded from the grid and can do a black start in the event of a major grid-scale blackout event.

          The fact that the NuScale SMR design uses half height conventional fuel rods is an advantage in controlling costs and in controlling project risk for a new reactor design of this type. The conventional nuclear fuel cycle is well established and its cost and schedule risks for use in a new reactor design are well understood.

  23. This is comparable to Amazon upending the most efficient retailers and their efficient networks of trucking and distribution centers and store outlets. Replacing all of that with many small truck and van deliveries to individual homes saves what. It’s another data problem for sure.

  24. Very expensive lesson for Washington state. They would have saved a lot of money had they just listened to a first year engineering student’s evaluation of wind power.

  25. Yeah, but clean air is worth it, no? Search Air pollution from China reaches California. One headline is 29% of San Francisco air pollution is from China. See? 6000 miles is not too far away – it’s a small world….and that alleged plastic island in the Pacific….it is mostly refuse from China’s rivers.

  26. “The best long-term, sustainable, more cost-effective, potentially less risky, and environmentally responsible strategy toward meeting the CETA goal of 100% clean electricity in Washington State by 2045 could be to transition coal power to natural gas and then natural gas to nuclear. ”

    OMG, someone that isn’t stupid. Well said. They will probably fire the person now.

  27. If any utility company believes they can eliminate all their base loading fossil or nuclear power plants in favor of wind and solar, they don’t have the brains to operate an energy company. You don’t even need to do any math. Where do you get your energy at night when the wind is not blowing? If you saw outsource it, how does that work if all your neighbors are doing the same thing. A basic understanding is all you need to understand this will never work.

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