When will BigWind destroy OUR grid, in the USA?

The realities listed, below, are inevitable. How will it affect YOU? Your place of business? Your hospital? The green lobbyists are hiding these truths from our legislators and, instead, focusing on the benefits for climate change (zero proof of this benefit). In a previous blog, we have referred to the BigWind lobby group as ‘illusionists’ and that could not be more true here. As we add more INstability into our grid in the USA, we will eventually see the problems discussed below…

Most supporters of renewable energy development are probably pretty comfortable with the way things are going.  Wind and Solar generation has been increasing both in “nameplate capacity” and in actual production of electricity.  There have not been any significant grid failures that can be blamed on renewables.  Apart from a consolidation within the solar cell manufacturing sector there have not been any notable bankruptcies within the electricity generating sector.  All visible signs are positive for a continued expansion of renewable resources….

But a new day is dawning in the U.S. and it could be a darn cold (or hot) one.

The EPA announced regulations in December 2011 that will require coal-fired thermal generation plants to clean up or shut down.  The reality is that for many of these plants it will not be feasible to clean them up.  In fact, in some cases the EPA will not even allow them to be updated with modern pollution controls.  As a result more than 40 GW of firm generation capacity will be decommissioned over the next several years.

Plans to replace this loss are in some cases vague and have been changing often.  Increased conservation and better utilization of existing plants are frequently included in Integrated Resource Plans.  In other cases greater reliance upon renewables is explicitly identified.  These are not really replacements for firm capacity.

A number of new Natural Gas fired plants are also under construction.  While current low gas prices make this an attractive option the threat of future significant price hikes as well as the EPA’s stated goal to regulate CO2 emissions are worrisome and are impacting the ability to secure financing of these plants in some cases.

As more and more coal-fired plants are retired it is likely that total system firm generation capacity will drop resulting in smaller reserves.  This, in turn, will make the system more susceptible to storms or other unplanned outages.

The degree to which grid security is compromised will vary from region to region depending upon the penetration of renewables, number of coal-fired plant retirements and the health of the local economy which has a major impact on electricity demand.  Based upon those factors I believe Texas and the Mid-west are the areas most at risk.

It may be that the reduction in coal-fired generation will do nothing more than cull excess capacity out of the system with no negative impacts.  But groups such as the Institution of Engineering and Technology in the UK have issued warnings about the progressive stress on a system that has taken decades to evolve and is now faced with unprecedented challenges.

Like the concrete block in the Youtube video the system is not displaying any outward signs of weakness.  The question is this – will the North American electricity system encounter its own version of second 2:41?

Why Renewables Havent Destroyed the Grid – Yet! – Pennenergy.

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Even Warren Buffet Admits Wind Energy Is a Bad Investment

Bazinga! This should be reposted all over the web and shared with our legislators!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Despite being famous for touting the idea that the rich don’t pay their fair share of taxes, investor Warren Buffet seems to be perfectly fine with receiving tax breaks for making investments in Big Wind. “I will do anything that is basically covered by the law to reduce Berkshire’s tax rate,” Buffet told an audience in Omaha, Nebraska recently. “For example, on wind energy, we get a tax credit if we build a lot of wind farms. That’s the only reason to build them. They don’t make sense without the tax credit.”

But while the wind production tax credit may be great for Buffet’s bottom line, it’s harmful for American taxpayers and energy consumers.

The credit’s proponents say that tax breaks for green energy technologies will encourage innovation, but they fail to acknowledge that Washington’s history on these handouts and tax breaks for green energy have consistently failed. For example, we cannot control when or how much the wind blows, and it just so happens that it tends to blow when we need it least. On average, wind energy facilities operate at just 30 percent of their capacity and must be backed up by more reliable forms of energy such as natural gas. Instead of producing energy solutions that can survive and thrive in the marketplace, we’re left with botched green energy projects that have brought us no closer to our energy goals.

If private companies like Berkshire Hathaway are not willing to jump in without government incentives, it is a sign that the energy technology is a bad investment. It simply does not make sense for the government to subsidize energy technologies that are economically unviable, while attempting to restrict other options that provide reliable and affordable energy for everyday Americans….

via Even Warren Buffet Admits Wind Energy Is a Bad Investment – US News.

Don’t worry, USA, Canada will sell us electrical energy when our BigWind won’t blow

St. Leon, Canada

Canada is showing common sense. They have pulled the plug on a proposed  wind project after a finding that “”Manitoba Hydro has determined that the capacity value of wind generation within Manitoba to meeting the winter peak load is zero,” Zero?! No kidding!! Hydro said in a report to the PUB,  it doesn’t really matter what it costs if it isn’t there when you need it.   But the point is that all wind turbines must be backed up by conventional generation.  Additionally, it is important to note that we will be IMporting electrical energy from Canada. Energy that is currently NOT IMported! Below there is a reference to selling this hydro power to the USA, where a number of coal plants will be retired. This point cannot be driven home hard enough to our politicians, who get it wrong every election cycle. The USA IS ELECTRICALLY INdependent. We have coal, nuclear, natural gas and hydro -but- if you close our coal plants and make us plant thousands of turbines, we WILL need energy from other countries. Sickening… 

The plug has been pulled on a proposed 175-megawatt wind farm near Manitou that would add more alternative energy to Manitoba and be a boon to farmers, a U.S. firm said….

Proponents say Manitoba Hydro is concentrating on building two new mega-generating stations in the north and believes wind is unreliable during our cold winters.

CPV’s decision to pull out of Manitoba comes as the Public Utilities Board studies Hydro’s bid to build the Keeyask and Conawapa generating stations and a new transmission line to the United States. Hydro says the three projects will cost about $20 billion, but should pay for themselves with increased electricity exports to the American Midwest, where a number of old coal plants are being retired….

In filings to the PUB, Hydro has said wind generation isn’t dependable enough to expand it beyond the St. Leon and St. Joseph wind farms, which together are capable of delivering 233 megawatts of power.

“You can’t count on the wind blowing at the time you need the energy,” Hydro consultant Dean Murphy told the PUB at a recent hearing.

Hydro said it examined the performance of the St. Leon and St. Joseph wind farms during the peak-load hour of each month from June 2007 to May 2013. It found the minimum wind generation during the peak-load hour each month was zero or near zero.

“Manitoba Hydro has determined that the capacity value of wind generation within Manitoba to meeting the winter peak load is zero,” Hydro said in a report to the PUB….

via Plug pulled on wind farm – Winnipeg Free Press.